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‘Amazing’ goal lifts Cougars

‘Amazing’ goal lifts Cougars
‘Amazing’ goal lifts Cougars
North Harrison’s Keenan Wilson, right, and Brandon Knight meet in mid-air to celebrate Wilson’s eventual game-winning goal in the second half. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

‘That was amazing.’
Those three words are what first came to the mind of North Harrison’s Keenan Wilson after the final whistle of a 1-0 win over Corydon Central last Wednesday.
Starting the game with 10 players, the Cougars relied on defense and a game-winner from Wilson to knock off their Mid-Southern Conference and county rivals.
‘The past four years we couldn’t win the big games,’ North Harrison coach Duane Boady said. ‘It seems we were one minute, one mental mistake, one player away. But today, we played with one less player and for three minutes played with nine. It was a great effort by these kids. I couldn’t ask for more. They gave 80 minutes strong and never gave up.’
After a scoreless first half, North Harrison kept the game locked in the midfield, picking and choosing runs to make toward goal. The speedy Wilson just missed a goal eight minutes into the second half when he battled with several Corydon Central defenders just outside the goal line.
Minutes later, Wilson came up with the strike to put the Cougars ahead. Deep on the right flank, Wilson lofted a shot on target that went over the head of the goal keeper. The ball snuck under the crossbar and into the net, putting North Harrison up, 1-0.
‘I make those about 40 percent of the time from there, if that,’ Wilson said. ‘I’ve made those playing at the YMCA a few times. That shot is my thing. It just floated in there.’
In the closing 20 minutes, North Harrison returned to playing defense.
‘I told the kids yesterday we were going to play defense against Corydon,’ Boady said. ‘We might not get a shot off, but we were going to play 80 minutes of strong defense. Taylor Starcer in goal is our key, along with Tyler Bement. He gives us confidence. Every one of the kids played great.’
Corydon Central wasn’t able to be much of a threat, as the Panthers struggled to get shots on target.
‘We played with Cougar pride,’ Wilson said. ‘We have been playing with 10 players and, when you get tired, you can’t give up. It’s all about stamina and strength. This win means a lot for us.’
The Cougar back line was able to secure the ball and the victory. Starcer picked up the shutout victory in goal. North Harrison also played the final three minutes down another player due to an injury.
‘We have a couple tough games coming up, but I tell the guys to make the most of every opportunity,’ Boady said. ‘We pressed at the right times today and it worked.’
North Harrison will play Saturday at 10 a.m. at Charlestown. Corydon Central’s next contest is tomorrow (Thursday), when the Panthers host Austin at 6 p.m.
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