The Transylvania Times -

Agonizing Loss As Bearcats Beat Blue Devils On Penalties

 

October 31, 2019

It was a bitter end to a hard-fought match Monday night as the Brevard Blue Devils lost to the Hendersonville Bearcats 3-1 on a penalty shootout.

Brevard trailed nearly the entire first half, but tied things up minutes into the second half.

The Bearcats did everything they could to retake the lead during the remainder of regulation and the overtime periods, but Brevard was resilient.

Unfortunately, the Blue Devils only converted 1-of-4 penalty kicks, coming up just short of a win.

Hendersonville got on the board seven minutes into the match, as a long-distance strike was perfectly placed into the top corner, just missing the fingertips of Brevard goalkeeper Hiatt Gafnea and richocheting off the post into the net.

The Bearcats continued pressing forward for another goal, but Brevard settled into the match and thwarted several attacks to keep the score at 1-0 going into halftime.

The Blue Devils tied things up just three minutes into the second half, as Joey Bartles delivered a laser into the top left corner.

As the pace picked up, Hendersonville controlled possession and created several scoring opportunities.

Brevard tried to counter when they could, but the visitors remained on the attack most of the second half. As the match wound down under five minutes left in regulation, both teams looked for a late winner.

The Bearcats nearly moved ahead, but were denied on a few big saves from Gafnea and had a few shots careen off the frame of the goal.

The tempo didn't slow down in overtime, but ultimately, the game had to be decided by penalties.

The Blue Devils drew the first penalty, only to have it saved. But the Bearcats' first penalty was off target, as well.

Brevard couldn't convert on the second penalty, and Hendersonville moved in front after blasting a shot into the top netting.

Bartles delivered on the third penalty, sliding it into the bottom corner.

Gafnea nearly came up with a save on Hendersonville's next penalty, but it was just beyond his reach.

Trailing 2-1, the Bearcats' keeper saved Brevard's next attempt, giving Hendersonville the chance to take the win.

Once again, Gafnea guessed correctly on the direction, but couldn't come up with the stop, as Brevard lost another heartbreaker.

It's the second time Brevard has lost a conference match on penalties, as they fell to Smoky 3-0 after finishing tied 2-2 earlier this month.

The loss drops Brevard's record to 4-15-1 overall and 1-8 in the Mountain Six Conference.

The Blue Devils closed out the regular season at home on Wednesday, as they hosted Pisgah.

 
 

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