Despite one of its most inspired performances of the season, Madison County’s bid for a .500 season ended with a heart-wrenching loss to Winder-Barrow Monday.
Madison County fell to the Bulldoggs 2-1, losing 5-4 on penalty kicks to drop to 6-9 with just one game remaining.
“It was a heartbreaking loss,” coach Trevor Mangan said. “The team played extremely hard and I could not have been more proud of their efforts. Both the Winder coach and I agreed it was a bad way to settle such a great game.”
The Raiders went for their seventh win Wednesday in their season finale against Cedar Shoals in a makeup of a Friday cancellation.
Results were not available at press time.
Against Winder-Barrow, Ben Ortman scored 15 minutes into the game, hitting a free kick from 25 yards out.
Meanwhile, defenders Spencer Baird, Russell Adams, Ben Larkins, Daniel Eubanks and Enrique Zuniga had their best games of the season, Mangan said, limiting Winder-Barrow’s talented striker.
However, Winder-Barrow tied the contest at 1-1 with 10 minutes left off of a header.
Following a scoreless overtime, the game was decided on penalty kicks.
Ian Webster, Daniel Eubanks, Detrick Yamasato and Ortman all converted their shots.
But Madison County missed its sixth and seventh kicks during sudden death. Bales stopped the Bulldoggs’ sixth kick, but Winder-Barrow squirted its seventh kick through for the win.
“I was tremendously proud of the team’s effort,” Mangan said. “We deserved a better result than losing in penalties for such an effort.”
Madison County entered the Winder-Barrow game following a 2-0 loss to Loganville April 8.
The Raiders fell despite a solid first-half defensive effort against the Red Devils. “The defense remained pretty organized in weathering Loganville’s attacks,” Mangan said.
But the team appeared to lose its “sense of urgency” in the second half, Mangan said, giving up two scores as a result of defensive lapses. “We were disappointed in the result,” Mangan said. “We thought we should have shown better than we did against Loganville.”
Madison County returned from spring vacation a day earlier a bit out of form and lost 4-2 to Apalachee.
“We showed some rust from spring break, with several sloppy goals conceded more from mental errors than anything,” Mangan said.
Crew Mayne and Ortman supplied Madison County’s two goals.