Goalie Butler leads Warren to win over Skyline

FRONT ROYAL – Warren County boys soccer coach Shane Lilly got serious this week with senior goalie Josh Butler about getting serious.

“He gets on me sometimes for having too much fun in practice,” Butler said, “but before this game he asked me to be more focused. Usually, I play best when my back is to the wall and that’s what happened tonight.”

It was all about a “toughening up process” the coach has talked about for this edition of Wildcats.

Jorge Figueroa, Eric Russell and Drew Wilson scored goals in Warren County’s 3-1 victory against crosstown rival Skyline on Thursday, but it was Butler who saved eight shots for the Wildcats, who improved their record to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in Conference 28 play.

The Wildcats swept the Hawks this season, winning 4-1 at Skyline on March 30. Skyline dropped to 3-6 in defeat, 0-2 in the conference.

Both teams needed wins in the worst way. Warren County was coming off back-to-back losses to Central and Clarke County. Skyline dropped an 11-0 Northwestern Conference match at Handley.

For their situation, the Hawks played well, coming back from the shellacking in Winchester.

“And that’s what we told them tonight,” said Skyline coach Steve Carey. “It was a good effort on our part, especially after what happened (Wednesday). It was a complete turn-around.

“A lot of things went into it, but, mainly, I think it was playing on grass, playing against a rival. All those kinds of things.”

Hawk goalkeeper Steven McInturff was stellar in goal, coming up with a game-leading 14 saves.

Skyline took the 1-0 lead in the first half when sophomore Brody Jones knocked in a goal against an unattended net in the seventh minute of the game.

That score remained until Eric Russell scored off a penalty kick in the 48th minute for a 1-1 tie.

The Hawks played with just nine men on their squad in much of the second half due to one of their group being red-flagged and sent out of the game for an infraction in the 55th minute

The Wildcats made their hosts pay when Figueroa scored in the 65th minute and then Wilson followed with the last point of the night.

Figueroa took four shots at goal, making one, Russell was 1-for-1 and Wilson was 1-for-1.

Warren County outshot Skyline 12-7.