Sept. 4, 2013 — In any sport, it is not how you start but how you finish.
For the East Carter boys soccer team on Tuesday against Rowan County, that statement could not mean more to the Raiders.
Connor Greene and Seth Marsh would score two goals late in the second half to earn a draw with the Vikings 2-2 last Tuesday in Morehead.
Larry Whelan and Ian Ray scored two goals in the second half but Greene and Marsh would rally with two quick goals midway through the second half to force the draw.
“I consider this a win,” Raiders Coach Billy Kemper said. “When you go down 2-0 and see the morale of your team go down, but as soon as we shot that first goal, I felt the momentum carried to our side.”
Rowan Coach Max Hammond III felt like this win was taken from them.
“It never has to be taken away from you if your team doesn’t sit there and rise up to the occasion,” Hammond said. “They have to stop that. Both of those goals came from the same side. It can’t happen like that.”
This is the third straight year Rowan County (1-1-1) and East Carter (1-0-1) has tied in their games.
“That’s what soccer is about,” Kemper said. “I love games like this. I’m really proud of the kids about how they showed character and courage to come back and deserve the 2-2.”
Both teams were scoreless after the first half. The Vikings broke through in the third minute after Xavier Long found Whelan for the first goal of the game. Ian Ray would get the second goal in the 19th minute off an assist by Whelan.
“We fell asleep at the start of the second half and we didn’t scoot up and we stayed packed in near the back of the field,” Kemper said. “We need to work on that to get better.”
Just when things were going Rowan’s way, East Carter took advantage on a defensive miscue. Connor Greene would put the ball in the right corner of net in the 26th minute after an assist by Tristan Hall. Two minutes later, Seth Marsh scored off a Dustin Sexton pass.
“Our midfielders had to come up and support our forwards a little bit more,” Kemper said. “We were thinking with too much defense. Once we brought the pressure up we were able to get our chances.”
Rowan did have a chance to get a game-winning goal just before time expired but could not convert.
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.