Panthers fail to crack Floyd
Although against stout competition, Floyd Central had managed one lone win coming into sectional play last week. Over the course of the Floyd Central boys’ soccer sectional, the Highlanders strung together three consecutive wins to take the sectional title, including a 5-1 victory over Corydon Central Saturday.
After eliminating Salem with a 10-1 win, a young Floyd Central team had to get past Corydon Central to reach the finals. In sectional play, Corydon Central has had trouble getting past Floyd Central and New Albany, the two top teams in the bracket. A year ago, the Panthers were bounced by the Highlanders 2-0.
On Saturday, Corydon Central attacked early. In the opening 10 minutes, Corydon Central had two golden opportunities. Off an Isaac Brown throw-in from the left side, the senior found an open Rafael Jaros. His right-footed attempt sailed to the right of the goal in the fifth minute. Both Tyler Jensen and Emerson Bowling had clear shots at the net, but failed to score in the eighth minute.
After dominating possession in the opening 10 minutes, Floyd Central broke loose on a counter attack. With the ball deep in the left corner, Cameron Fitzgerald lofted a shot over Panthers keeper Josh Faulkenburg’s arms, off the back post and into the net.
Up 1-0, Floyd Central scored again on a loose ball inside the goal area, this time off the foot of Josh Lewis in the 18th minute.
Corydon Central was able to keep the Highlanders from scoring through the rest of the first half. Jenson, standing 6-4, had a header attempt go over the crossbar just before halftime.
At the opening of the second half, the Highlanders put another ball in. Fitzgerald sent a ball toward the penalty area off a corner kick that found the foot of Will Spiller. The freshman’s goal put Floyd Central up 3-0.
Two minutes later, Corydon Central was able to push a ball through. Brown passed the ball up to a streaking Jaros, who scored in the 48th minute.
The hype of a comeback was immediately sidetracked when Joe Bauer rolled a pass through the Panthers defense to Jordan Adams who was left alone against Faulkenburg. Adams beat the keeper, putting the game away. Bauer added a goal of his own in the final minute.
‘Rafael gets one, then we break down,’ Corydon Central coach Jeff Salomon said. ‘Four guys just let him (Adams) run by after getting a goal. It’s just disappointing.’
Salomon said the Panthers need to beat a team like Floyd Central to believe they can win. Corydon Central finished the season 6-9-1.
Floyd Central went on to defeat New Albany in the sectional final Saturday night on penalty kicks. The two teams were deadlocked at 2-2 after regulation and overtime, but the Highlanders outlasted New Albany in sudden-death penalty kicks.