No matter what the records or how the season has gone, when Miami Trace and Washington get together in athletics, you can be sure the will to win rises to an even higher level.
The Panthers hosted the Blue Lions in varsity boys soccer Thursday and as the fog crept in on little cat feet (Carl Sandburg wrote that), the two Fayette County teams battled fiercely.
The Blue Lions took a 2-0 halftime lead and went on to post a 3-1 victory.
Washington junior Blaise Tayese was the stand-out player of the evening, scoring the hat trick (three goals) for the Blue Lions.
Senior Brett Lewis scored early in the second half for the Panthers to make it 2-1.
Tayese stole the ball away from a Panther player later in the second half and took it down and scored the final goal of the night.
After the first goal by Tayese, the Panthers had a lot more play than did the Blue Lions, according to Washington head coach Aaron Teter.
“Darion (Streitenberger) was great in goal for us all night,” Teter said. “There were two plays when he had three saves in quick succession; he slapped it down, they shot it and he slapped it down again. One was their goal on the fourth shot of the play, but Darion stood strong.
“I’m really proud of our defense,” Teter said. “At the beginning of the season, we thought they’d be our weakness, but, tonight they were our strength.”
The second goal was assisted by Kenny Arboleta.
“He kind of turned their keeper around backwards and that made it 2-0 at halftime,” Teter said. “That’s the first half, but, it’s Trace-Court House, so, everyone’s going to be (fired up) for the second half.
“After they scored early in the second half, it was very intense,” Teter said. “It stayed 2-1 for a long time, until Blaise picked their pocket on that last goal.”
It was the second hat trick of the season for Tayese. He scored three goals in a match against Hillsboro previously.
“I think we have a lot of talent and a lot of potential on our team,” Miami Trace head coach Josh Thoroman said. “Court House has a solid team with a couple of stars. Tonight, they really got the ball to Blaise and he got dangerous. The three seasons I’ve been here, we’ve kind of kept him in check. But tonight, he got loose.
“And, their keeper was phenomenal tonight,” Thoroman said.
Miami Trace had 27 shots on goal. Panther keeper Justin Shoemaker had five saves.
The Blue Lions had 13 shots with 12 saves by the keeper, Streitenberger.
Washington finishes play in the first season of the Frontier Athletic Conference with a record of 3-7. Washington is 3-9 overall.
The Sectional tournament drawing is Sunday.
Washington has two regular season games remaining, the first of those being Monday evening at Westfall and then they are at home Thursday taking on North Adams.
The Panthers finish the FAC with a record of 3-7.
Miami Trace hosts Fairfield Union Monday at 5 p.m. The Panthers travel to Lynchburg to take on the Southern Hills Conference champion Mustangs. Miami Trace will host Waverly Thursday at 5 p.m.
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