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Panthers earn come-from-behind win over Garrard in home opener

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By Kristin Beck

The Panthers soccer team has started off the 2013 season on a positive note, showing they can both dominate a game as well as pull out a come-from-behind victory.

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Carroll County opened the season Tuesday, Aug. 20, with a road trip to Covington Latin and came home with a 9-2 victory. Senior Michael Hall, freshman David Marshall and sophomore Alex Burns scored two goals apiece. Senior Taylor Byrd, sophomore Brett Hall and freshman Tyler Stewart each scored one goal.

Two days later, the Panthers took on Garrard County in their home opener. Carroll County fell behind early, 2-0. Michael Hall put the Panthers on the board with a score off a free kick, 2-1. But the Golden Lions struck back, giving them a 3-1 advantage at the half.

Mistakes and not being focused or aggressive – especially on 50/50 balls – contributed to the Panthers’ halftime deficit, head coach Ben Crutcher said. They were not playing their style of ball, he said.

The Panthers got the message.

Within the first five minutes, Hall scored his second goal of the game off an assist by Stewart. He scored again 10 minutes later off an assist by Tyler Tuttle to tie the game.

“Michael Hall has picked up exactly where he helped off last year,” Crutcher said. “At this pace, he could very well break his own school scoring record. He’s a tremendous athlete and part of this team.”

Later in the game, the two teams were battling in front of the Garrard County goal. Marshall got control and took a shot inside the 18-yard box that sailed into the top corner of the net, just out of the keeper’s reach for what would ultimately become the game-winning score.

Crutcher said Marshall has made a nice impact on the team at the wing. “He’s a solid, consistent player. You can’t go wrong with having him on the field.”

In the post-game huddle, Crutcher told his team they played a near-perfect second half.

“It was a completely different team out there,” he said of his team in the second half. Once the score was 3-2, the boys played with “giddy up” in their step and were more aggressive.

Crutcher said Burns played a great game, and Tuttle made an impact off the bench with an assist.

Starting keeper
sophomore Cody Damron pulled his groin muscle against Covington Latin, opening the door for senior Michael Hedges to get some playing time. Crutcher said it is important to have Damron back from district play, so they are going to rest him as long as it takes for him to get better.

In his absence, Hedges has done a good job of stepping in. “He played solid and made some good saves,” Crutcher said of Hedges against Garrard County.

Garrard County was a good tune-up game for their home matchup Tuesday against North Oldham, the head coach said. It allowed them to play against another physical team and showed them the areas they needed to improve on.

“I was really pleased with the effort we put in the second half,” Crutcher said, “and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do versus North Oldham.” Results of the North Oldham game were unavailable by press time.