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Panther soccer breaks in new field with ‘W’

Panther soccer breaks in new field with ‘W’
Panther soccer breaks in new field with ‘W’
Junior midfielder Isaac Smith, right, competes for a ball against a Charlestown defender. (Photo by Brian Smith)

As the marching band practiced just yards away, the Corydon Central High School boys’ soccer team sang a sweet tune of their own Thursday, shutting out Mid-Southern Conference foe Charlestown 3-0.
Thursday marked the first match for the boys on their permanent home field. The field, located south of the softball and baseball diamonds, is the new digs for the girls and boys’ soccer programs. The field isn’t in perfect condition yet and could use rain, but the coaching staff is patient.
‘There will be a lot of bouncing balls,’ Corydon Central boys’ coach Jeff Salomon said. ‘But we have a place to play and that is a good thing.’
The Panthers had no problem illuminating the scoreboard against the Pirates in the first half.
The first goal on the new field was credited to Charlestown, an own goal in the 24th minute. Corydon Central’s Martin Caicoya put a shot on goal, but a Pirate defender put the ball in the Panther net after the goal keeper made an initial save.
Corydon Central took advantage of a disappointed Pirate defense, adding two to its total over the next six minutes. Junior Isaac Smith launched a cross off a corner kick that deflected off Matt Rhoads’ head and went into the back of the net.
The third goal came in similar fashion, off a corner kick, Chris Bays headed a ball past the Charlestown goal keeper in the 30th minute.
‘It was good for us in that we scored our goals with our heads,’ Salomon said. ‘That hasn’t been a strength of ours in the past. So it’s a good sign.’
Josh Faulkenburg played a majority of the match in goal for the shutout. He was relieved by Zach Anderson in the final 10 minutes who helped preserve the shutout.
In the second half, the Panthers showed a great deal of patience in the midfield. They had a handful of opportunities to score in a rather physically played contest but couldn’t add to their total.
‘We either want to score or we want to possess the ball,’ Salomon explained. He added he liked the ball movement in the second half even though the team didn’t score. The passing was consistent, which pleased the coach.
The win was the first of the season and in MSC play. Six teams outline the conference this season: Scottsburg, North Harrison, Salem, Charlestown and, a new addition, Silver Creek.
This season, the Panthers return two seniors, Craig Whelan and Matt Rhoads, along with a pair of exchange students, Albin Roy and Caicoya. Salomon said the program has a large number of juniors, one sophomore and a group of freshmen showing potential.
‘Of course, our goal is to win conference,’ Salomon said. ‘But beyond that, I want to improve our play so we can compete better at sectional.’
The Panthers host New Albany in their next contest tomorrow (Thursday) at 6 p.m.
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