No tie this time: Wolverines beat Bearcats
The two teams were destined to matchup up again after two classic battles this season that both ended in a tie.
But there werent going to be any ties this time around. So when the second round state playoff matchup kicked off, the Polk County Middle School field was engulfed with screams from both sets of fans.
In the early going, the Bearcat fans had much more to cheer about. The Bearcats continued to pour it on the Wolverine defense, keeping the ball on their side of the field. The Wolverines were not matching the speed or aggresiveness the Bearcats were imposing.
The Bearcats took 11 shots on goal, including four penalty kicks in the first half, but Wolverine goalie Hugo Santos stood strong. The senior had seven saves for the Wolverines. And Wolverine sweeper Chris Abril showed resiliency, clearing ball after ball. The Wolverines just had two shots on goal when the halftime buzzer sounded with the score 0-0. The Wolverines also lost a key player in the first half.
Their best chance to score came with 19:50 left in the half. Cole Weicker had a breakaway shot at a goal, but was wiped out by a Bearcat defender. The junior had to leave the match and wouldnt return.
It was a difficult half for Polk and when asked if it was the most difficult half all season, Polks Abril responded with a resounding, definitely.
In the second half, Polk looked like a different team. The Wolverines had a bounce in their step and were attacking, rather than playing defense.
And with 18:13 left in the match, the Wolverines got the break they needed. Valentin Santos took a shot on goal. The ball was deflected by a Bearcat defender, but slowly rolled past the Hendersonville goalie.
I was off-balance and didnt think it was going in, Santos said. While he didnt get credited with the goal, he was still mobbed by his teammates.The Wolverines held on as Hugo Santos made big save after big save in the final two minutes.
It doesnt matter how you get it, a smile head coach Lennox Charles said after the match.
Polk will host Ablemarle on Wednesday. The time wasnt announced before press time.