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Cougars battle, fall in sectional to NA

Cougars battle, fall in sectional to NA
Cougars battle, fall in sectional to NA
Cody Johnson makes a run through the midfield Saturday against New Albany, a sectional match-up the Bulldogs won 6-0. (Photo by Brian Smith)

The improvements in the North Harrison boys’ soccer program were evident Saturday, giving New Albany fits for a solid 65 minutes before eventually falling to the Bulldogs 6-0 in the Floyd Central Sectional semi-finals.
Aided by outstanding play on the backline, including freshman Brandon Knight and sophomore Corey Powell, North Harrison was able to halt many of the New Albany scoring opportunities. The youthful duo, along with ever-improving goal keeper Alan Austin, were able to limit the Bulldog chances early on.
New Albany senior Nathan Driggers scored New Albany’s first goal, five yards beyond the penalty area. The Ohio State signee nailed a shot in the top-right corner of the net in the 14th minute. Driggers found the net again with his second goal in the 27th minute, giving the Bulldogs a 2-0 edge.
Austin then stepped up for the Cougars, making numerous saves, keeping North Harrison’s hopes alive. Yet the Cougars strikers were unable to generate too many serious attacks. Junior Josh Book, along with Jarod Richards, had a few opportunities but neither were able to find the back of the net.
‘We’ve got a lot of room for improvement,’ North Harrison coach Duane Boady said. ‘We just didn’t come out on the winning-end today. We knew we would have to get luck; we had some opportunities but couldn’t capitalize.’
Cody Johnson, the Mr. Everything for the Cougars, played various positions during the game. After spending some time in the midfield, Johnson tried to push up as a forward, but the Cougars were unable to get the offense rolling.
‘He pretty much plays wherever we need him the most,’ Boady said. ‘It kind of wears him down, but he is a great athlete and player.’
North Harrison went into the second half down 2-0. The Cougars gave up a quick goal to Jonathan Falcone in the 43rd minute, sneaking a shot between a diving Austin and the far post.
Falcone would add a second goal late. Adam McLaughlin and Brandon McLaughlin would also score in the final 15 minutes for the Bulldogs.
Johnson is one of three seniors who turned in their final soccer performances for the Cougars. The youth and willingness to learn the game, gives the soccer program an uplifting look to the future, the coach said.
‘We started to play better toward the end of the season,’ Boady said. ‘I’m excited about next year. I just hope a few more guys come out next year. We’re already improved now than we were to start the year.’
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