Landrum strikes in waning minutes to nip Polk County

The unluckiest of bounces dealt Polk County a cruel ending Wednesday at Landrum.

Sophia Ravan’s goal with just more than three minutes remaining lifted the Cardinals to a 2-1 victory over the Wolverines in a non-conference girls soccer battle.

The latest matchup between the two border rivals seemed destined to reach the end of regulation with the score knotted at 1-1 before Ravan got possession of a loose ball on the right wing and hit a long drive toward the Polk net.

Wolverine goalkeeper Maggie McCammon, who kept Polk County competitive with a number of saves throughout the evening, positioned herself to snare Ravan’s drive. But the shot kicked unexpectedly high off the Landrum pitch, deflecting off McCammon’s shoulder and into the net.

Both McCammon and Polk County (2-10-2) likely felt they deserved a better result. Playing for the first time in two weeks, the Wolverines held their own throughout the evening against a Landrum (7-6) squad that has now won three of its last four matches.

The Cardinals put together a beautiful sequence to strike first. Landrum’s Verae Upton, who tormented Polk all evening in midfield, threaded a perfect pass up the right sideline to Allie-Mae Martin, who dribbled deep into Polk’s end of the field before centering a pass to a charging Ravan, who tapped the cross in for Landrum’s first score.

Polk just missed an early scoring chance off a corner kick when Elena Carroll’s header slipped past the post. But the Wolverines converted on another corner as Jamilett Ramirez struck a line drive into the penalty area that Hayden Blackwell headed into the back of the net to even the match.

From that point on, the teams settled into a defensive struggle, possessions largely ranging between the top of the penalty area on both ends of the field.

Polk County is set to return to the pitch on Thursday, traveling to Chase for a Mountain Foothills 7 Conference matchup. That game will begin at 6 p.m. and is scheduled to be shown live on NFHS Network.

Polk County’s Hayden Blackwell and Landrum’s Katy Stokes fight for possession during the second half of Wednesday’s match

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