Lady Panthers rally, oust CAI
The scoreboard didn’t accurately depict the play through much of Corydon Central’s battle with Christian Academy of Indiana in the first round of girls’ soccer sectional action Monday at Floyd Central.
Christian Academy broke into the scoring column in the fourth minute with a goal from Kendra Driver. From that point on, Christian Academy’s scoring opportunities were minimal, while Corydon Central kept control of the ball on its side of the field. It took until early in the second half for the Lady Panthers to even the score with an unassisted goal from Emily Weixler. The go-ahead, game-winning goal came off the foot of Colleen Kitterman in the 71st minute, leading to a 2-1 Corydon Central victory.
In the first half, Corydon Central struggled to put a solid shot on net. The Lady Panthers controlled the tempo, but a goal was tough to come by.
‘The first half was frustrating,’ Corydon Central coach Kyle Jones said. ‘We’ve always, the whole season, been a second-half team. We seem to always get a goal down and dig out of a hole. We’ve been talking about patience and allowing the goals to come. We were patient the whole second half. I think it showed with us having possession the second half.’
Christian Academy, in the second half, began to drop seven to eight players back on the defensive line. Corydon Central again put pressure on the Lady Warrior goal keeper, and eventually Weixler scored for the Lady Panthers. The senior defender made a long run down the center of the field, made a quick cut left then blasted a shot beyond the reach of the Christian Academy keeper.
‘I wasn’t even really thinking about scoring, because when I do, I kind of psyche myself out,’ Weixler said. ‘It was pretty sweet. I didn’t really know what to think when it happened.’
The goal knotted the game at 1-1 with 33 minutes to play.
‘What we talked about was eliminating long-range shots,’ Jones said of halftime adjustments on offense. ‘We talked about in the second half taking a few more touches and getting closer to the goal. It’s just like basketball. We were shooting 3-pointers 20 to 30 yards out. We needed to get closer to take higher percentage shots. I think Emily’s goal was the main difference. She dribbles her way to the goal and scored.’
Despite many more opportunities, the Lady Panthers finally cracked the goal line, with less than 10 minutes to play. Kitterman put in a rebound shot inside the goal box, just barely crossing the scoring line. Once officials confirmed the ball crossed the plane for a goal, Kitterman and the Lady Panthers celebrated the go-ahead goal.
Corydon Central was able to hold the ball on its side of the field, preventing any Christian Academy scoring opportunities. The win moved the Lady Panthers into the semi-finals, where they will play Silver Creek, which defeated Charlestown 2-0 Monday.
‘It is real nice, getting a sectional win my senior year,’ Weixler said. ‘We’ve won conference and to win a game here is pretty neat.’
Silver Creek and Corydon Central played to a 1-1 tie in regulation during their regular season meeting. Corydon Central came away with the win, defeating Silver Creek, 3-2, in penalty kicks.
‘For a school our size, in a tough sectional, to get to a finals would be special,’ Jones said. ‘We are gaining respect from these schools. Silver Creek is a good team, as was Christian Academy, but we have one more to win to get there.’
The semi-final game will kick off at 6 p.m. Thursday at Floyd Central. The championship game will take place Saturday at 7 p.m.
Floyd Central 11, North Harrison 0
North Harrison had the dubious task of taking on host Floyd Central in the opening game Monday. The host Lady Highlanders came away with an 11-0 victory over the Lady Cats.
Floyd Central was held off the scoreboard for the first 28 minutes, until they scored six unanswered goals to close the half. Lauren Haley recorded a hat trick for the Lady Highlanders.
Despite her team giving up 12 goals, North Harrison coach Tonny Ratliff credited defenders Kelsey Brunner, Lauren Scott and Mallory Allgeier.
‘I’m very proud of them,’ said Ratliff, who is in her third year as North Harrison coach. ‘We had a lot of injuries this season. We’ll start over next year. Next year, we’ll have some good ones playing.’
The News and Tribune’s Kevin Harris contributed to this article.