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School-record 11-win season ends at sectional

School-record 11-win season ends at sectional
School-record 11-win season ends at sectional
Corydon Central’s Olivia Lawson (6), above, heads a ball forward while Kaitlin Salomon (11) and Kelsey Shireman (17) contend. At right, Colleen Kitterman puts her leg into a ball against Floyd Central last Thursday. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

Drawing Class 2A Jeffersonville Sectional favorite Floyd Central in the semi-final presented a big task for the Corydon Central girls’ soccer team.
In Thursday’s second semi-final game, the Lady Panthers held tough in the first half but eventually lost to Floyd Central, 3-0. The last goal came in the final minutes of play.
‘We talked extensively about the Laurens (Floyd Central’s Lauren Haley and Loryn Queen) and marking them with our defense,’ Corydon Central coach Kyle Jones said. ‘Thirty-five minutes is pretty good for a school our size playing against a team full of select players … The intensity was where I wanted it to be. We played Bedford and Northeast Dubois at the end of the season and they weren’t easy teams, but they weren’t to the level of Floyd Central.’
Corydon Central made a change in defensive tactics before the game. They played a contained, zone-style of play instead of defending the Lady Highlanders players one-on-one.
Defensively, the plan worked for much of the game. It took until the 35th minute for Floyd Central to score. Cylie Miller struck a right-footed shot to the back of the net.
‘If we were chasing them, there would be a goal in the first 15 minutes,’ Jones said. ‘That zone play, closing off passing lanes, I think, kept us in the game in the first half. It’s hard to get that concept in high school because so many want to go and chase the ball. We haven’t played that style of defense much this year.’
Floyd Central wasted little time doubling its lead in the second half. In the first minute of play, Taylor Patty scored for the Lady Highlanders.
Corydon Central was unable to get a shot off on goal during the 80 minutes but pressed the Floyd Central defense a handful of times.
‘(Floyd Central’s) back three are real fast, but our forwards are pretty fast, too,’ Jones said. ‘We didn’t get many breaks to have a scoring opportunity. It was a bad touch, a bad pass or being off just a little bit. But Floyd is a really good team. They marked us really well. It would have been nice to get more opportunities, but, against good teams, it’s difficult.’
The third and final goal came in the 78th minute when Summer Stanley sent a long lofting ball in from the right flank.
The Corydon Central loss ended the program’s best season, a year in which it won 11 games and another Mid-Southern Conference title.
‘It was a wonderful year, and I can’t say enough about this team,’ Jones said. ‘They are friends and mold really well together. They joke and have good friendships with one another. It is an honor to coach these girls, and they are athletic as well. I think it came about in the Silver Creek Invitational. We got off to a sluggish start, but we worked hard in practice and it came together. Those wins gave us a lot of confidence going into the second half of the season.’