LEXINGTON The East Carter Raiders’ run has come to a close.
In the state semifinals at Bryan Station High School, East Carter fell in double overtime to Daviess County, 3-2.
Both teams battled rain throughout the match, making for less-than-ideal conditions.
The Panthers are just three years removed from their 2016 state championship. They look the part of a state title contender again.
Daviess County registered goals from Hayden Boswell and Hunter Clark in the 15th and 17th minutes, respectively.
Boswell’s goal came after the Raiders were unable to cleanly clear the ball. It deflected off of Boswell, and the freshman lofted a shot just over junior keeper Trevor Cline’s grasp to find the back of net.
On Clark’s score, Cline had made a diving deflection just seconds prior but because of the wet conditions was unable to fully jump on it.
As a result, the ball was kicked out to Hayden Glover, who found Clark for the score.
“That one goal, I think, was a nerve goal,” East Carter head coach Chris Huddle said. “I think Trevor kind of fumbled it there, and the conditions weren’t inclusive to playing the ball clean.
“I thought the goals we gave up wasn’t that good. We told them at halftime, ‘Look guys, the goals wasn’t great. If we come out and play the next 40, we’ll be good.’”
The Raiders caught a big break in the 20th minute, as Daviess County junior defender Carter Hoagland received a red card for an excessive foul on Christoffer Helms-Olesen.
Because of the red card, the Panthers had to play with 10 players for the remainder of the contest.
Still, Daviess County’s defense was incredibly stout as it took a 2-0 advantage into halftime.
“I think they had only given up 27 goals coming in, sort of like us for the season,” Huddle said. “We knew defensively they were going to be good, but I thought we did a fairly good job breaking it down.
“We didn’t get looks all night, but we did get looks at the goal. Give them credit, they’re an awesome team.”
East Carter cut into the deficit in the 51st minute. Logan Cales passed the ball upfield to Jacopo Valpato, who found Ethan Miller for his 41st score of the season.
Volpato had to dive just to get a foot on the ball, and delivered a crisp pass to Miller, who put the ball between the legs of the Daviess County keeper to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Panthers.
Each side traded possessions as time bled away, and the Raiders seemed to be running out of chances.
In the 78th minute, East Carter got an opportunity.
Garrett Halstead took a free kick after a Daviess County foul, which found the head of Miller in the box.
Miller’s header deflected off the hands of the Daviess County keeper and rolled freely back to Miller. The momentum from the save took the Panthers’ keeper to the ground, and Miller softly tapped the ball into the left corner to even the count.
“On our free kicks and late in the game, that’s what we tell them,” Huddle said. “Give us a chance, put the ball in there, and hopefully somebody will go get it.
“The toughness of this team, it never ceases to amaze me, really. They just keep battling. We got down early, a couple of our players were hurt and they never stopped.”
Neither team scored in the remainder of regulation or in the first overtime, sending the match to a decisive second overtime period.
With 36 seconds remaining to play before the match went to a shootout, Daviess County (21-2-2) got the golden goal from Jacob Boling on a pass from Clark.
The loss concludes the season for East Carter (19-4-1). They depart four seniors: Shawn Greenhill, Garrett Halstead, Michael Primm and Brody Stephens.
East Carter will also lose three foreign-exchange students: Helmes-Olesen, Volpato and Rodrigo Bitner.
“I think their legacy will live on,” Huddle said. “I think these younger kids look up to them — it’s a great bunch of seniors, they’ve been the most successful team in East Carter history and I think it’ll show in the years to come.”
Following the match, Miller and Cales earned All-Tournament team honors. After receiving their awards, the team headed over to the bleachers where they greeted friends and fans who made the trip down to root them on.
“The community, the school, everybody got behind us on this run,” Huddle said. “I’m happy for them, because it’s something to be proud of what these boys accomplished this year and to see the community support and the difference between us and the fans from Daviess County … it wasn’t even close. I was very happy with the support we got.”