“I thought they carried us today because our offense just wasn’t happening,” Vieth said.
Three minutes after Jones had his chance, Zach Lewis had a pair of opportunities to get Floyd even. After a corner kick, Lewis gained possession of the ball in the Memorial box. His first shot from about 10 yards out was knocked away by Tiger senior midfielder Ralph Payne. Lewis corralled the rebound and took another shot, but it was stopped by Memorial keeper Caden McCullough. It was the only save McCullough had to make the entire evening.
Despite having only two shots on goal for the contest, the Highlanders did have their chances to equalize in the second half. At the 20:15 mark, a Varun Alse shot went just wide of the goal. With 8:49 remaining, an open Jacob Austin attempt sailed inches over the crossbar. With 1:07 to play, Chase Gosman saw his free kick miss high.
“Probably the last 10 minutes of the first half and all 40 minutes of the second half, I felt like we kept them under pressure,” Rice said.
Memorial’s best chance to add to its lead came with 16:45 to play when Highlander junior Tyler Menne headed a Zach Conroy free kick off of the corner of the goal. On the play, Menne banged his shoulder on the goal on the play. He was immediately taken off the field and to an area hospital.
Menne’s father and assistant coach Scott Menne revealed in an e-mail to the News and Tribune that his son sustained a broken shoulder.
Menne, who scored the lone goal in the Highlanders’ 1-0 sectional championship win over Jeffersonville, is one of seven starters expected to return for Floyd Central next season.
“We set a goal of getting to semistate and, unfortunately, we came up short,” Rice said. “We have a great group coming back and a good middle school group coming in. We’ll rebound from it. It’s a bitter taste the way it ended and it’ll make us work a little harder in the off-season. It’s a journey. The lessons we learned this year will make us better next year.”