FRANKFORT — Not a single person in Danville saw this coming.
"We didn't think we were going anywhere," senior Evan Harlow said.
Not even the Admirals' own coach saw it coming.
"It wasn't even on my radar," said Brent Beauman, laughing the laugh of a coach who shocked the state (and himself apparently) by leading the Admirals to their first ever state soccer semifinals with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over host Franklin County Thursday night.
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"Hopefully 15 years from now, we'll be watching this on a movie," Beauman said. "Forget the Hoosiers, how about the Admirals?"
The finish certainly had the feel of a touchy, feely sports movie.
First Harlow turned a 2-1 deficit into a 2-2 tie two minutes into the second half.
Then with 25 minutes to play, senior Kevin Lopez took a deflection and scored his first goal of the season and second of his career to put Danville ahead.
"I just hit the ball," he said. "I saw the ball just going in slow motion into the goal."
Beauman beamed when asked about Lopez's goal.
"I couldn't have asked for anything better to happen for a better person," he said. "Kevin Lopez is a kid who's going to run hard, work hard, do everything for you. He might not get the time he likes, but I'd like to have a whole team of Kevin Lopezes."
Franklin County, which got goals from Lyndon McKee and Garrett Hamilton in the first half, had its share of chances in the second half, especially late.
But by luck of the coin toss, the Flyers were on the sloppy side of the field and couldn't seem to organize an attack.
A few breakaways were either kicked with too much oomph or went splat in the mud.
Danville keeper Byron Hempel was able to gobble up the four chances Franklin County had in the second half.
The Admirals, who had never advanced out of the sectionals previously, won their sixth straight. They will face Greenwood in the semifinals Wednesday night in Georgetown.
"It's amazing," Beauman said. "Twenty-two kids and no JV team. Start of the season, we had no idea what to expect and that's been the best thing for us. We've had no pressure. Just a bunch of good kids playing the game they love."
Danville 3, Franklin County 2
Goals—D: Ethan Hobson, Evan Harlow, Kevin Lopez; FC: Lyndon McKee, Garrett Hamilton. Goalkeepers—D: Byron Hempel; FC: Travis Petry.
Records—Franklin County 15-7-2, Danville 18-3-3.