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Soccer ties Owen on Senior Night

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By Kristin Beck

A lot was on the line Tuesday night as the Carroll County Panthers’ soccer team (10-6-4) took the field against the visiting Owen County Rebels. A win would put the Panthers’ in a three-way tie for co-champion of the conference with Walton-Verona and Gallatin County. It was also senior night for the team’s eight seniors: EB Martinez, Juan Badillo, Marvn Davilla, Josh Pence, Hugo Resendis, Axl Nova, Daniel Yapp and statician Levi Underwood. Unfortunately, the Panthers were unable to build on their early two-goal lead, tying Owen County 2-2.

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“It was a disappointing game, disappointing outcome. We definitely should have won that game,” head coach Ben Crutcher said.

Crutcher noted that his team has been very inconsistent in recent games, playing solid for 20 minutes and then playing poorly for 20 minutes.

“It’s really kind of frustrating because we’ve probably been the most inconsistent team I’ve ever coached, but they’re the most talented team I’ve ever coached,” he said.

All seven seniors started the game, and the Panthers were fired up from the start. They were able to keep the ball in Rebel territory for the first 20 minutes of the first half, getting multiple shots on goal.

With a little over 29 minutes to go in the first half, Davilla dribbled the ball deep into the left corner and snuck in a shot into the left corner of the goal for the Panthers’ first score of the game. Davilla also received credit for the Panthers’ second point after he attempted a shot and it bounced into the goal off of a Rebel player. The score was 2-0 with about 21 minutes to play.

“He really stepped up his game this year,” Crutcher said. “He’s really come through and given us a lot on that outer wing this year.”

But Owen County was not going down without a fight. With about 15:48 to go in the first half, the Rebels got behind the Panther defense and delivered a shot that sailed over Pence’s head and in the goal.

Following halftime, the Rebels came out swinging, dominating the Panthers and keeping the ball in Panther territory. With about 27 minutes to go, a Rebel player kicked the ball from long range over a line of Panther defenders. It took a high bounce near the goal over the outstretched fingertips of Pence, tying the game 2-2.

With the game tied, Carroll County’s offensive attack woke up and began pushing the ball in Owen County territory once again. Unfortunately, a win wasn’t in the cards, and the teams ended the game tied.

“It was a disappointment, but at least it wasn’t a loss, we’ll take it,” Crutcher said. “We’re not going to win conference now, but we have a lot of other great things to keep our heads up about. We’ve won 10 games and scored lots of goals this year and done things that we have never done before so I can’t really complain.”

Crutcher said the team almost tripled the number of goals they scored last year, and they won 10 games this year compared to last year’s four. The team was also not mercy-ruled this year, with their worst loss coming by only two goals. The team played its final game of the season Thursday night at Pleasure Ridge Park.

“I’m going to miss the seniors,” Crutcher said. “They’re really going to be missed, but we have a lot of JV guys that are going to step up and fill those voids. … Hopefully with the success of this season, we’ll bring some new kids out to soccer.”