Trigg County’s soccer season ended with a 2-0 loss to Fort Campbell in the semifinal round of the 2nd Region Tournament.
“The ball just didn’t bounce our way,” Nichols said. “I’m really proud of our guys. They played extremely hard.”
Neither team scored in the first half, and the strong play of Trigg goalkeeper Kevin Latham kept the Wildcats in a position to stay in the contest, but he fell victim to a pair of hard-luck goals in the second half.
The first of the two was scored by Aldo Torres in the 47th minute. Torres sent the ball in from near midfield and Latham came out looking to catch the ball after a bounce, but the ball hit hard, bounced over Latham and rolled into the net.
“You don’t know what kind of bounce it’s going to take with all that sand back there,” Nichols said, referring to the condition of the field at Fort Campbell. “That probably played a part in the second one too, but that’s the way it goes. Both teams had to play down there.”
Jacob Caraccilo scored the second goal on an assist from Torres with less than five minutes to go in the game.
Trigg generated a number of scoring chances but couldn’t push any of them into the net.
“We had some really good looks,” Nichols said. “The guys did a really good job of helping Blaine out, where we had stranded him against Caldwell [County in the 4th District Tournament Championship]. They worked hard, came to him and gave him some options. We came close a few times, but they just didn’t go for us.”
Trigg opened the season with a 2-2 tie against the Falcons, and Nichols said Fort Campbell looked much like the same team the ‘Cats faced in August.
“Both times, they were pretty similar,” Nichols said. “Last time we gave up a couple of soft goals, but Blaine [Alexander] got a couple for us. The shots that went that night didn’t go tonight.”
Trigg entered the game knowing Torres, who scored over 30 goals for the Falcons this season, would be tough to stop.
“He’s extremely good,” Nichols said. “Jeremy Butts did a great job on him. You could tell those two had a lot of respect for each other the way they were going at it, really clean the whole game. It was fun to watch.”
Nichols said the Wildcats should be proud of their 11-5-4 season, knowing that many had low expectations for the team entering the season.
“Once we look back on it, I think we’ll be really proud,” Nichols said. “The guys played hard all year and proved everybody wrong. We weren’t supposed to be good, but we weren’t going to settle for that.”
The game was the last for seniors Butts and Tanner Stallons. Fellow senior Ezra McNichols was injured prior to the district tournament but was on the sidelines with the team throughout the postseason.
McNichols’ situation was similar to one the Wildcats faced last season when senior defender Wesley Croom went down witn an injury before the playoffs.
“It’s a coincidence that Ezra stepped in for the player that went down last year,” Nichols said. “This year, it happened to him. In the end, that’s why you need a deeper bench. That probably did it for us, being a little thin. Fort Campbell did a good job of running kids in and out all night. I thought they wore us down.”
Still, Nichols said the seniors did a good job of leading the 2009 team and will be tough to replace.
“All three of them played their hearts out for us,” Nichols said. “We’ll miss them. We’re not losing a lot in quantity but a lot in quality. We’ll struggle to replace those guys.”
Fort Campbell went on to defeat Todd County Central 3-1 in the region championship but lost 6-0 to Marshall County in Monday’s sub-section match.