A determined Polk County boys soccer squad pushed Hendersonville for all 80 minutes Wednesday night before dropping a 4-3 decision on a blustery Senior Night at Polk County Middle School.

The Bearcats scored early in the second half to take a 4-2 lead, then withstood a late Polk surge that saw the Wolverines score with 7:18 left in the match as Dylan Weicker tallied off a corner kick to narrow the margin to 4-3.

Hendersonville, though, was able to turn aside a couple of late Polk threats to preserve the Western Highlands Conference win.

Polk, which closes its regular season on Thursday with a 6 p.m. home match against A.C. Reynolds, dropped to 6-15 with the defeat. But the Wolverines, at times Wednesday, appeared a far better squad than that record, passing the ball effectively, stopping Hendersonville runs and getting solid play in the net from goalkeeper Larry Dyer.

“There were points there when we looked like we didn’t belong on the field with them,” said Polk County head coach Lennox Charles. “And there were times when it looked like we were even with them, when it looked like we were just as good.

“This was almost a microcosm of our season. I told them last week that we have played halves of games and parts of games and stretches of games, for 10 or 15 minutes, where we have looked good. But there have been very few times we’ve played the entire 80 minutes and been consistent the entire 80 minutes.”

Hendersonville scored at the 33:18 mark of the first half as Tyler Self wheeled around inside the penalty area and blasted a right-foot shot into the net. Polk County answered two minutes later when Alex Miller put home a rebound of a missed shot, tying the score at 1-1.

Polk then seemed to have taken the lead at the 12:54 mark on a Wil Rimer goal, but an offsides call negated the score. With the Wolverines challenging Hendersonville all over the field, the Bearcats finally broke through as Pedro Bolanas split a pair of defenders and ripped a shot from near the top of the box into the goal for a 2-1 lead with 8:41 left in the half.

Back came the Wolverines. With 5:52 left in the half, Polk County was awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area. Fernando Mondragon took the kick, drilling it into the upper right corner of the night to tie the score again at 2-2.

Less than a minute later, what seemed to be an innocent play on a ball near the Polk end line turned into a foul call, giving Hendersonville a peanlty kick. Self took that kick and scored, putting the Bearcats up 3-2. Hendersonville then added a quick goal in the second half and was able to stave off Polk’s comeback attempt down the stretch.

“I thought we played well the last 20 minutes,” Charles said. “We had three starters off and all our seniors on those last 18 to 20 minutes, and they did OK. They hung in there and created some chanches.

“As usual, they played hard and worked hard and defended hard.”

Eight senior players were honored at halftime of the match. They included David Castillo, Daniel Macias, Fernando Mondragon, Colby Painter, Franklin Sandoval, Dylan Weicker, Austin Wolfe and Dakota Childers. Manager Caitlin Wolfe was also recognized.