By Jonathan Deal
Tanner’s first trip to the sub-state second round ended Tuesday night with an overtime loss to Mars Hill. The Rattlers led 3-2 with three minutes to play, but gave up a header from a corner kick to send the game into overtime.
After two scoreless overtimes, the game went to kicks from the spot. Tanner’s first kicker missed wide and Mars Hill’s players buried the next four to win the penalty shootout.
“It was hard to swallow,” said Tanner coach Basilio Munoz. “But they left everything on the field. We just couldn’t pull it out in the end. Hopefully, they will remember this experience and be better next year.”
Tanner made a valiant comeback to take the lead. Trailing 2-0, Daniel Hines scored off an assist from Daniel Leon. Angel Leon tied the game five minutes after halftime on a free kick and Chico Vicente gave Tanner the lead with 20 minutes to play.
“At that time, it’s still 20 minutes to go; I’m not going to do anything different,” said Munoz. “With about 10 minutes left, I put two midfielders back to defense. I didn’t see anywhere they could score, but I was afraid of corner kicks.”
The loss ended Tanner’s season with a school-best 10-2 record, including the team’s first-ever trip to the second round.