After defeating Butler County 8-0 on Tuesday to earn a trip to the 11th District Soccer Final, the Cougar boys soccer team came out on the short end of a 2-1 score as host Meade County became the 11th District Champions.
The Cougars had lost 3-0 in their only other meeting with the Green Wave and head coach Kenny Fukuhara decided to play a defensive game this time around. With only one attacker at the front of his formation, Fukuhara gambled that his defense could hold off the Green Wave’s potent attack.
And that’s pretty much the way things played out. Though the Green Wave dominated play and kept the ball in the Grayson County end for much of the game, the Cougars were never out of it.
Meade kept heavy pressure on the Cougar goal for the first 25 minutes of the game, but Cougar goal keeper Jack Davis was up to the task and kept his opponents off the board, but in the 26th minute, the Green Wave found paydirt with a controversial goal.
With the ball just inside the 8-yard box, Meade’s Lie’vi Stewart unleashed a rocket that Davis had no chance of stopping and the ball found the back of the net. The official on the sideline raised his flag to indicate offside on the play, but after a discussion with the head official, it was determined Meade was not offside on the play and the goal was allowed, making it 1-0.
The Cougars had an excellent chance to tie the game in the 37th minute when senior Conner Schultz sent a ball through the Meade defense to sophomore Cody Watkins, who took the ball in on Meade goalie Spencer Jenks. Watkins took a shot from just to the left of the goal, but Jenks was just able to get a hand on the ball to keep it out of the net. The half ended with Meade ahead 1-0.
Grayson County was awarded a corner kick in the 48th minute of the second half and put heavy pressure on Jenks, but the Meade defense was able to clear the ball away.
Meade missed a golden opportunity in the 52nd minute when Davis was able to punch away a point-blank shot off the foot of Meade’s Tristan Dutschke.
But in the 58th minute, the Cougars were whistled for a foul in the penalty box and Meade was awarded a penalty kick. Jared Ray took the PK and put it into the left side of the net past Davis to make it 2-0.
Meade was whistled for a foul just outside the penalty area in the 61st minute and senior Carson Zurmehly was picked to take the free kick. With Meade’s defenders forming a wall inside the penalty area, Zurmehly was able to put the ball past the wall and into the far right side of the goal to cut the Cougar deficit to 2-1.
Zurmehly had another chance with a free kick in the 67th minute, but Jenks stopped the shot. The ball rebounded away from Jenks toward Watkins, but Jenks jumped on the loose ball before Watkins could get a shot off.
Though they continued to pressure the Meade goal in the closing moments, the Cougars could not find the equalizer.
Following the game, Zurmehly and Schultz were named to the 11th District All-Tournament Team, along with Jenks, Luis Bravo and Kris Robinson from Meade County, and Ernest Lee, of Butler County.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.