Three in a row against Class A foes have Omaha Skutt feeling dangerous down the stretch.
The Class B No. 3 SkyHawks came from behind in a 2-1 win over Gretna on Tuesday night, Skutt’s third win in four days against a team in the Class A ratings.
The SkyHawks beat third-ranked Millard North, No. 5 Gretna and eighth-ranked Papillion-La Vista South.
“They’re having a blast,” Skutt coach John Carlson said of his team. “There’s been a lot of energy, a lot of effort. It’s such an underrated thing in sports.”
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They won Tuesday in comeback fashion.
Gretna’s Sarah Weber settled a ball to herself in the box and put it away for a lead in the 26th minute, the 20th goal of the season for the sophomore.
The SkyHawks leveled things late in the first half when Cady Betsworth converted a penalty kick.
They wasted little time grabbing a second-half lead, going up 2-1 less than two minutes after the break on a Laurin Mertz strike from just inside the top of the box.
“I told them at halftime that I think we can be a pretty good team,” Carlson said. “They just have to believe it.”
Gretna found little in the way of an offensive threat the rest of the way. Carlson credited that to his team’s ability to possess.
“We try to knock it around a little bit, possess it a little bit,” Carlson said. “I thought we did a pretty good job of that considering it was a windy day. We knocked it around four or five times and they’d have to chase it. I think we wore them down a little bit.”
Dragons coach Digger Hawkins called it his team’s worst performance of the season.
“We definitely had some objectives and, to be honest, we didn’t meet any of them,” Hawkins said. “Fair play to Skutt. They flat out just wanted it more than us. We just sort of went through the motions. You can’t just turn it on, especially against a team like Skutt.”
Both teams are off until conference tournaments next week.
Skutt will begin River Cities Conference play on Monday, joining three others in the Class B ratings in the field. Gretna opens action in the Eastern Midlands Conference tournament on Tuesday.
Gretna (8-3).....................1 0—1
At Omaha Skutt (9-2)........1 1—2
Goals: G, Sarah Weber; OS, Cady Betsworth, Laurin Mertz.
Omaha Skutt boys 2, Gretna 1
Caleb Vos and Andrew Davidson scored second-half goals, and the Class B No. 1 SkyHawks handed Class A No. 7 Gretna its first loss of the season.
At Omaha Skutt (8-3)............0 2—2
Gretna (10-1).......................0 1—1
Goals: Caleb Vos, Andrew Davidson.
Kearney boys 3, Grand Island 0
Senior Royce Austen scored in the 54th minute on an assist from Elliott Lebsack, and top-ranked Kearney added two more late to beat No. 9 Grand Island.
Austen’s goal was his team-leading 13th of the season. He added an assist as Carson Elstermeier notched his seventh goal of the year in the final two minutes. The other Bearcats score came on a Grand Island own goal.
Kearney keeper Jacob Hardy recorded his ninth shutout of the season, adding to his state record total, and the defending state champions improved to 12-0.
At Kearney (12-0)..............0 3—3
Grand Island (6-5).............0 0—0
Goals: Royce Austen, Carson Elstermeier.