Polk Middle’s boys soccer team celebrated its eighth graders Tuesday, and everything about a cloudless day that touched 70 degrees seemed an almost perfect complement to the festivities.
Everything, that is, except the final score.
The Wolverines had hopes of upending Hendersonville Middle and keeping alive their fight for a Blue Ridge Conference playoff berth. Instead, the Bearcats notched a 3-1 victory over the Wolverines at Utz Field that ended those postseason dreams.
The loss dropped Polk Middle to 3-3-1, with Hendersonville Middle improving to 6-1-1. The Wolverines trail the Bearcats and Brevard Middle by nine points (three for a win, one for a tie) for the BRC East Division’s two playoff spots with not enough games remaining to close that gap.
The Wolverines are slated to travel Wednesday to Rugby Middle before concluding their season on Friday at home against Brevard Middle, though inclement weather is forecast.
The Bearcats struck the first blow, scoring off a corner kick. But Polk Middle began to press offensively, and the Wolverines were rewarded in the final seconds of the half as Tommy Jackson broke free in the penalty area and converted on a line drive, tying the match.
Hendersonville took the lead in the 36th minute on a scramble in front of goal that led to a shot that nicked the right post and kicked into the net. The Bearcats then added a late insurance goal to seal the victory.