Lyon County's (6-8) shot at redemption fell just short on Monday night at Lee S. Jones Park in a contest that lasted nearly two and a half hours, but when the Lady Lyons walked off the field, there wasn't a low-hanging head in sight.
And for good reason.
After a 2-1 loss to District 5 foe Trigg County on Sept. 12 caused the Lady Lyons to fall into a three-game tailspin with lopsided losses to Hopkinsville and Hopkins County Central, Lyon County erased a 3-0 deficit in the rematch with the Lady Wildcats, but eventually fell in eight rounds of penalty kicks.
Trigg County (6-7) swept the season series with Lyon County, getting goals from D'Aria Barbee and Ashlee Wyatt, and Barbee had the game-winning PK to seal the District 5 regular season series.
Rose Smith scored two goals and Sydney Hoffman scored one for the Lady Lyons, who also had 10 keeper saves from Abby Smith in regulation and the two overtime periods.
Trigg County took a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute, then put the pressure on at 2-0 in the 22nd.
In just four minutes, Trigg County had a 3-0 lead, but the Lady Lyon defense, anchored by Crista Cummins, Sydney Hoffman, Kate Gray and Jordyn Schofield, wouldn't allow Trigg County to score in the final 55 minutes of regulation.
Lyon County got a goal back in the 25th when Smith found the net.
Abby Smith had two saves just before the half, and Hoffman made up for a previous near-miss with the second goal of the night from 10 feet out, straightaway to slice the halftime deficit to 3-2.
Rose Smith went down with an injury right before the halftime whistle, but recovered to play the second half at near-full strength, tying the game just minutes into the period.
She knotted the match 3-3 in the 45th from short distance to complete the improbable comeback from down 3-0.
Hoffman nearly gave Lyon County the lead in the 50th, and Abby Smith kept things tied in the 62nd on a diving save and corner save (in the 76th and 78th), but Lyon County never had a true look to win the game in overtime before the match went to PKs.
It was Lyon County's first game featuring penalty kicks in two seasons.
"What this game boils down to is, their coach tells them the same thing I tell them. Everybody has to pass, everyone has to block off and everybody has to run fast," Lyon County head coach Abby Smith said.
"Honestly, both teams were doing that pretty evenly and it showed at the end. You hate when it comes down to PKs like that and neither team likes it. That's why Trigg nicely offered to let everybody run across after the game, because they felt the same way."
Cummins, Rose Smith and MaKenzie Lewis all made their PK attempts and Schofield's bounced just off the crossbar in the first round before Barbee's shot sealed the deal in the sudden death PK round.
The Lady Lyons look to get back to .500 as the playoffs approach and hosted Paducah Tilghman Tuesday in Eddyville at 5:30 p.m. for senior night in their final home match before heading to St. Mary at 6 p.m. Thursday night to begin their final three-game stretch of the regular season, all on the road.
The Caldwell County Tigers (3-8-1) also fell to Madisonville North Hopkins on the road 10-0 on Monday afternoon.
The Maroons got two goals apiece from Luke McElroy and Dalton Davis, while also getting a balanced attack with goals from Simen Lind, Seth Daniel, JJ Brown, Joshua DeLeon, Logan Rainwater and Kael Knight.
Head coach Tanner Reed and the Tigers look to bounce back Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. as they host Christian County to begin a three-game home stand (including a Thursday date with Trigg County and a home match next Tuesday against Paducah Tilghman before closing the regular season out late next week at Russellville).