WASHINGTON — Class 2A No. 3 Evansville Memorial used its defense to defend its Washington Regional championship.
Floyd Central’s offense had no answers for the 14-time regional champion Tigers’ defense and fell one goal short of the program’s first regional championship on Saturday.
The Highlanders managed just two shots on goal — both in a five-second span — and eight total shots in the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Memorial.
“Their defense is solid,” Floyd Central’s first-year coach Tim Rice said. “They play angles great, they cut off passing lanes. It was difficult to get a shot off. It also may have been us pressing too much. When you know it’s all or nothing, it affects your game.”
“Defense wins championships,” long-time Tiger coach Bill Vieth said. “In a game like today, you just couldn’t afford to give up very many goals. I thought both teams played good defense and there just were not a lot of chances to score goals. You’re always in the game if your defense is on.”
The 16-1-5 Tigers’ lone goal seemed to come from out of nowhere.
After seven and a half minutes of a defensive stalemate, Memorial sophomore Jacob Schafer’s free kick sailed 30 yards and drifted just over the outstretched fingertips of Floyd Central goalkeeper Travis Foster.
“I don’t hold him responsible at all [for the loss],” Lewis said of Foster. “He saved our butts countless times this year. If anything, we can put this on our offense for not producing a goal.”
Rice added, “It was a good ball that [Foster] just misjudged. It happens. That misjudgment was no different than a player misjudging a ball at midfield. It’s not his fault by any means.
It took the Highlanders more than 34 minutes to get their first shot off. That attempt by Henok Jones was knocked down outside of the box.