ROSEMOUNT — Fortunately for the Portmouth Clay Panthers, they got a goal on Saturday.
Unfortunately for the same host Panthers, it wasn’t enough in their boys soccer Division III sectional semifinal match against the Fairfield Lions.
The Lions scored just 40 seconds into the game, and again with two minutes and 14 seconds before halftime, to defeat Clay 2-1.
The Panthers, who graduate 13 seniors including standout senior striker and goalkeeper Shaden Malone, conclude their season at 4-8-3.
Clay was actually shut out in five of its final seven matches —as it tied Peebles 3-3 before getting the goal against the Lions.
That goal was scored unassisted by fellow senior Dylan Collett, as he tied the match at 1-1 with 18:11 left in the opening half.
However, the Lions pitched a shutout over the final 58 minutes, despite the defensive-oriented Panthers taking 23 shots including 13 on goal.
Clay Cottle had three shots on goal as Collett, Malone and Jack Holbrook had two apiece.
Hunter Burns stopped a dozen shots for the Lions, which took a 1-0 lead only 40 seconds in on a Koben Zink goal that Ryan Ludwick assisted on.
Then, just before the half, Reese Teeters touched one right-footed and found the net for the 2-1 advantage.
Robert Deal was credited with three saves for Clay, as Fairfield finished with eight shots —five of which were on goal.
Paul Boggs is a staff writer for the Portsmouth Daily Times, a division of AIM Media Midwest.