LUDOWICI -- The Long County Blue Tide Rocket League team is nearing the end of its inaugural season. While still not out, it is unclear where the team stands in regard to the playoffs, but their chances may be a little hurt after their loss to Westminster on Thursday, March 31.
The Wave Racers lost the three games 3-1, 3-2, and 1-0, all defensive battles that came right down to the wire. The Wildcats took quick advantage on the opening kickoff, as the ball bounced off a Racer and into the goal just seconds into the match.
Senior Caleb Hargrove answered quickly for the Tide as he scored off a nice assist from junior Kaleb Driver to tie the game with three minutes left.
As it looked like the game would go into extra time, the Wildcats were able to score two goals in the final 40 seconds, the first off a deflection from an attempted save by senior Tyree Hughes and the second on an open goal.
The Wildcats opened the second game on a goal off the kickoff, but Driver answered quickly, scoring on an open dribble two minutes later.
The score remained tied until the final minute of the game before Hughes took a nice pass for an aerial shot to give the Tide the 2-1 lead with 32 seconds left.
The Wildcats got a shot off with 15 seconds left, it was saved by Hughes before they were able to bump it past and into the net to tie the game.
They took the next kickoff and dribbled up the pitch to the goal with eight seconds left to take the 3-2 win.
Game three was a defensive slugfest as neither team got a shot off until three minutes left in the game. The Wildcats took advantage of a miscommunication from the Racers and took the 1-0 lead that would eventually be the final.
Hughes had three attempts in the final minute of the game, but just missed high and to the right on his shots.
With the loss, the Racers fall to 3-3 on the year with one game left in the regular season. They are still ranked in the top 60 of the state rankings but are almost in a must-win situation on Thursday, April 7 against the Putnam County War Eagles.