On the second day of the Nike Palmetto Cup, Lexington and Fort Mill played to a 1-1 draw.
Lexington trailed at halftime, but worked its way back with assertive and persistent offense in the second half. The Wildcats outshot Fort Mill 11-6 to avoid a loss, but could not land the game-winning shot.
“It’s just one of those days, where you don’t get the result you feel like you deserve, but I couldn’t ask these guys to have done more or to have done anything differently,” said coach Will Gettys, whose team is 12-3-1, 1-0-1 in the Palmetto Cup.
The Wildcats did not get much opportunity for set plays in the second half, and the ones they tried did not go as planned.
Tucker Vaughn’s free kick in the 58th minute – intended to set up a shot in front of the goal – hung higher than intended and dropped just behind the goal.
“Sometimes you feel like sooner or later it’s going to happen,” Gettys said, “but sometimes, eventually, you start to get that sick feeling like maybe it might be one of those games, where you dominate and get chance after chance, and you just can’t score.”
There were so many near-misses among their five shots in the first 20 minutes of the second half, it seemed a score was imminent. Then in the 66th minute, the Wildcats made their sixth shot count, as Bryson Tindal crossed the Fort Mill goal from the corner, and Chandler Stokes booted it into the side of the goal to tie the game.
Lexington kept the pressure on Fort Mill’s defense, putting up three more shots in eight minutes and dominating possession.
“We kept the pressure on them, high pressure, but we just couldn’t get another one to go,” Gettys said.
Fort Mill led 1-0 at the half, with Austin Cassidy registering the goal, off an assist from defender Jeremy LaPointe, in the 11th minute of play.
With 13 minutes left in the half, Lexington missed a penalty kick that could have tied the game, sending the ball sailing over the crossbar.
Fort Mill is 12-3-1, 0-1-1 in the Palmetto Cup, and plays Wilson on Wednesday. Lexington takes on the national No. 1 Farragut Admirals at 4 p.m.