Jaxon Miller’s kick in the fourth minute of McCracken County’s 1-0 win at Marquette Stadium on Thursday against Paducah Tilghman was a thing of beauty.
Striking the ball with his left foot, Miller, his 10 teammates, 11 opponents and some 175 other people watched as it arced around and off the inside of the left goalpost and to the back of the net.
That would be the only goal of the night.
“With every short corner (kick) we do, we always try to aim for the back post and always try to get clear headers and as best (of) opportunities as we can,” Miller said of his second goal of the season.
Defensively, both teams kept the game in check.
Tilghman did so with its backup keeper, Morgan Mayo, whose baseball teammate, left-handed pitcher Justin West is in North Carolina this week trying out for the USA Baseball U-16 national team.
“Our keeper did play an amazing game,” Tilghman coach Wesley McSparin said of Mayo, who made seven saves. “I didn’t think we (as a team) played to the full potential that we could have. I think we left a little bit on the field.”
Rain throughout the day forced the match to move from the adjacent Mercy Health Field to the turf surface on McCracken’s football field.
That presented a challenge for both teams, which are accustomed to playing on natural grass.
“It’s the first time we’ve been on turf in a while, and it showed,” said Mustangs coach Michael Wiersema, whose team plays this weekend in Lexington against Lexington Henry Clay and Lexington Tates Creek. “We’re playing one of the top teams in the state tomorrow night (Tates Creek) on turf, so we better get our act together or we’ll be in trouble.”
McCracken County 1, Paducah Tilghman 0
MC: Jaxon Miller (4’)
MC: 12; PT: 5
SHOTS ON GOAL
MC: 10; PT: 3
MC: 3; PT: 7
MC: 3-0; PT: 0-2-1