TURNER — With the goal came the momentum.
It was the opportunity the Leavitt boys' soccer team had waited for the whole game Thursday. When the Hornets got a penalty kick goal, Leavitt cut the deficit and had the chance to rally.
Leavitt also only had about five minutes to do it.
The Hornets only got one more quality shot the rest of the way and came up short in a 2-1 loss to Medomak Valley.
"We had a chance at the end," said Leavitt coach Isaiah Davis. "After the penalty kick, Brandon (Morissette) came down but just couldn't turn it."
The Hornets dropped to 1-4 with the loss. Though they matched up well with an experienced Medomak Valley club, Leavitt just couldn't finish its chances.
"We've been playing hard," said Davis. "We played really hard against Belfast. We played really hard today. We've been making progress. We just need to break through."
Medomak Valley earned its second straight win, taking advantage of two goals that went in off Leavitt defenders. A corner kick by Micah Williamson went in off a Hornet with 7:19 left in the first half. Then a throw by Jonathan Hendrickson-Belloguet hit a Leavitt player and went in early in the second half.
"With the throw-ins, it's a real advantage for us, to be able to put the ball in the goal mouth," said Medomak coach Brian Campbell. "We just needed to get a body on it. He was pretty consistent today and laid it in at the same spot."
Those flip throws were an advantage Leavitt just couldn't match, despite producing some good offensive chances themselves. Hendrickson-Belloguet was able to turn every throw into a scoring opportunity. Since he could put it at the net from just about anywhere inside midfield, he also was able to keep Leavitt hemmed in on defense.
"He was dangerous," said Davis. "He changed the whole game. He's a really skilled player in the field and any time it was a throw from half in, he could throw it at the goal."
The second goal for Medomak Valley (2-2) came just 1:39 into the second half. Leavitt picked up its game and had the better of the opportunities for much of the second half. The Hornets had outshot the Panthers 5-2 at one point in the second half. Morissette had a bid that was saved by keeper Ryan Ripley. Leavitt had another chance when the goalie bobbled a save but the rebound was put wide.
Medomak did a nice job defensively breaking up the Hornet rushes. What shots the Panthers allowed often came from the outside.
"They had two really quick guys that came up the middle and made things happen," said Campbell. "We talked at halftime that we had to be aware of them and the give-and-go passes. We had to shut the middle down and work the ball up the sidelines."
Medomak Valley began to pressure the Hornets late in the second half. The Panthers had a number of quality bids, but Leavitt keeper Ben Fullerton made key saves to keep the Hornets within reach.
When a foul in the penalty area with 5:10 left led to a penalty kick, Morissette caught the keeper in motion and put a low shot by him. Leavitt had some momentum and got a rush by Morissette in the final minute. He struggled to get a good shot off and it went wide.
"They're good," said Davis. "They're an old team. They have (10) seniors. We're a lot younger, but we were close. We were right there. We worked really hard."