The Altamont Indians fell to the Carlyle Indians late Thursday afternoon, 6-3.
However, the final score hardly indicates the tough-fought match it was until just 10 minutes to go in the game, when Carlyle’s netted two goals to help secure the victory.
“I think we stood toe-to-toe and we played with them,” said Atlamont head coach Jeff Walton. “The score looks a little lopsided, but if you would’ve watched, you would’ve saw that we came back and were finding the net in that second half and were in control.”
Through the first 20 minutes of the match, there was nothing to separate the two teams on the scoreboard. Altamont was able to work the ball into the Carlyle third of the field, but shots were tough to come by early.
With 16 minutes to go in the half, Carlyle got on the board with a tap-in goal from Zach Barnes after his initial shot was saved by keeper Kenny Robbins.
Less than two minutes later, Altamont drew a penalty kick and cashed in the opportunity when Donovan Delaney stepped up and buried it home to tie the game.
With just three minutes to go, Barnes took advantage of a bad clearance attempt from Altamont and was able to use his speed to break away from the Altamont defenders to bury his second goal of the contest.
With under a minute remaining in the half, the Indians almost drew even on a long shot, but the shot hit the crossbar and bounced out to give Carlyle a 2-1 lead going into halftime.
In the early stages of the second half Carlyle came out aggressive and precise on the offensive end. Carlyle’s Felix Rocca came up the left side, passed to Barnes in the middle, ran behind Barnes to his right and up, received the pass back and knocked it home to go up 3-1.
Less than two minutes later, Carlyle drew a penalty that Rocca knocked in to go up 4-1 in just the first five minutes of the second half.
“[Rocca] was a killer,” Walton said. “He had a bullet and line drive in the back of the net. He’s a strong kid and could hold his own.”
With 25 minutes to go, Delaney came up big for Altamont again, taking a shot from just over 18 yards out that zipped past the keeper to cut the deficit to two.
Altamont also had some bad luck in the half, with a great header barely being knocked away by the Carlyle keeper, as well as a shot that hit the crossbar.
But the luck looked to have turned when Sabashtin Thompson got a little bit of help on a deflection with 16 to go to bring Altamont back to within one.
“We got ourselves two quick ones to get us right back in the match,” Walton said. “But then we had some breakdowns defensively. We didn’t clear the ball, we muffed a kick and a pass, and in those moments you can’t. They proved they could shoot the ball.
But that proved to be as close as they would get, as Rocca knocked in a pair of goals to help seal the win with under 10 remaining.
However, Walton likes the growth he’s seen in his team since the start of the season.
“I’m proud of how we played,” Walton said. “I don’t enjoy the loss, but we’re showing a lot of positives.”