Ninety minutes of soccer simply was not enough to determine a winner Tuesday night.
Tates Creek and visiting Lafayette played through a pair of 40-minute halves and two five-minute overtimes without scoring a goal.
Being a district match, that meant no tie — penalty kicks would have to decide the outcome.
Sixth-ranked Creek outscored the Generals 5-4 in the shootout for what officially goes down as a 1-0 victory.
"The district, anybody can win on any given night," said Brandon Turek, coach of the Commodores (10-2-3). "It's just like the Group of Death in UEFA — all five teams are incredible in our district, and whoever gets out should end up going all the way out of our region."
Goalkeepers Evan Adams of Tates Creek and Curtis Daniel of Lafayette turned away everything until the shootout.
Then, Lafayette's first four shooters found the net.
Ditto for Tates Creek's first four.
In the fifth round, Lafayette's Dee Bopata missed wide left, though.
Samer Shalash stepped up for Tates Creek and ripped a shot into the lower left corner of the net for the winner.
"The best thing to do when you're going up for a PK is just to not think about anything," Shalash said. "Get everything out of your mind except for scoring that goal and putting the ball in the back of the net."
It was a heartbreaker for the Generals (6-6-3).
"We played really well. I thought we held a lot of the possession, especially in their half," Coach Chris Grimm said. "It's just we couldn't find a way to break through. And if you look at Tates Creek's results all year, they've held teams to low scoring averages, so that was kind of expected — that it was going to be tough to score on them.
"I don't think it's a negative performance by us by any means. It hurts a little more because we really needed this win for districts, especially losing our first two. It stings a little bit more but, overall, I'm happy with the way they played."
Turek was glad to see his team stand firm on defense, then come away in the shootout. Not that it was easy to watch, though.
"I think I'm going to have a heart attack by the end of this season is what I'm getting worried about," he said. "The boys, they'll do anything I ask of them. Doing the dirty work and defending — everybody likes to score goals but defense wins championships, so we put a lot of emphasis on that."
Tates Creek 1, Lafayette 0 (SO)
Shootout goals—L: Besar Gjoshi, Brandon Schweder, Ben Armbruster, Corey Robertson; TC:Reece Roubic, Austin Magsig, Nathaniel VanKleeck, Andrew Carter, Samer Shalash.Goalkeepers—L: Curtis Daniel; TC: Evan Adams.
Records—L: 6-6-3; TC: 10-2-3.
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @markmaloneyhl. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com
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