Justin Chapman | The Echo
A late season push gave the Taylor men's soccer team the chance to play in the conference tournament against Bethel on Saturday. The game moved into overtime and eventually penalty kicks. Taylor could not hold on and ended up losing 3-2 to Bethel.
Taylor needed a win to keep its hopes alive of making the National Tournament. Late in the second half, the Trojans held a 2-1 lead. Bethel then scored another goal six minutes before the end to force overtime.
Overtime is split up into two ten minute halves. However, the game can end at any point if either team scores a goal. Penalty kicks followed two scoreless overtime periods, in which Bethel outscored Taylor 4-3.
Head coach Gary Ross could not believe what happened. After the game, he was stunned the team did not get a victory. Ross commented he felt confident in his team going into the matchup.
"We walked into that game thinking we were going to win," Ross said. "It wasn't like, 'oh maybe we get lucky, we're going to take the number one seed down.' We thought the game was ours. We thought we had the team to do it. We thought we had the strategy to do it."
Junior Sam Hardy scored the first goal of the game in the 25th minute, giving Taylor a 1-0 lead.
Despite the outcome, Hardy was pleased with the team's performance.
"I honestly have no regrets leaving that game," Hardy said. "I definitely think it was one we could have won. I think that the guys played well. I'm really proud of the guys."
The Trojans wrap up their 2016-17 season with the loss, having no expectation of being invited to the National Tournament. The team's overall record this season was 6-10-3, including a 4-5 record in the Crossroads League.
"Photograph by Fayth Glock"