Senior Austin Dallas’ goal with a little over a minute left to play salvaged a 2-2 tie in the Cougars’ Senior Night soccer contest against Hart County on Tuesday at the Cougar Soccer Field.
Positive outcomes have been few and far between for Coach Kenny Fukuhara’s team this season as the Cougars have managed only a single win. With Tuesday’s tie, the Cougars stand at 1-13-2 on the year, but Dallas’ late goal sent the Cougar sideline into celebratory mode.
The two teams seemed pretty evenly matched in the first half, which ended in a 0-0 tie. The Raiders had the upper hand in the early going, putting pressure on sophomore goal keeper, Brady Whobrey. In the third minute of play, the Raiders sent a whizzing shot that clanged off the cross-bar and bounded away.
But as the period wore on, the Cougars began to give as good as they got, though they could not get the ball into the net. Senior Isaac Yearns had a good shot in the 32nd minute go wide of the net. Yearns put a ball behind the Raider defense in the 35th minute to senior Jack Davis, but Davis’ shot also went wide of the net.
The Raiders went in front 1-0 in the fourth minute of play in the second half when they sent a high ball into the six-yard box. Whobrey went up and got a hand on the ball, but was knocked to the ground with no foul called. The ball rolled to the left side of the net, where Raider senior Ben Nichols collected the loose ball and sent it into the unguarded net.
The Cougars got even in the 51st minute of play. Sophomore midfielder Matthew Haycraft put a nice ball forward into the penalty area. With Raider keeper Ethan Chenowith desperately trying to get to the ball first, Davis beat him to it, sliding to the ball and booting it past Chenowith and into the Raider net.
Grayson County was unlucky in the 65th minute of play. With the Raiders pressuring the Cougar goal, they sent a shot towd the net. Sophomore Wyatt Schultz got a foot on the shot, trying to defelct it away from the goal, but instead directed it into the net, an own-goal which put the Raiders in front 2-1.
The Cougar spirits were down after that, but they kept playing hard, looking for the equalizer. A minute after the Raiders took the lead, Haycraft was fouled just outside the penalty area and was awarded a free kick. His shot, though sailed high over the cross-bar.
Schultz had an excellent chance in the 71st minute of -play, but his header toward the Raider goal dribbled just wide of the goal mouth and a diving Chenowith.
With time running out, the Cougars mounted one last push. Davis got off a sizzling shot from about 10 yards out that was stopped by a Chenowith dive. The Raider goalie was unable to control the rebound, though, which went right to Dallas, who ripped it into the back of the net for the tying goal.