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Panther 11 kept out of net by Dragons

Panther 11 kept out of net by Dragons
Panther 11 kept out of net by Dragons
Corydon Central's Grant Smith tries to cut between the ball and a Silver Creek defender to gain possession on a soggy Thursday. Photo by Brian Smith

Corydon Central didn’t have the offensive chances it would have liked, but the defense was strong enough to give the Panthers a chance Thursday against Silver Creek.
Playing on a soggy field under the season’s first fall-like cool conditions, Silver Creek netted a pair of goals while keeping the Panthers out of the net. The 2-0 victory by the Dragons brought visiting Silver Creek to 3-0 in Mid-Southern Conference play. The loss was the first in league competition for Corydon Central.
‘We’re trying to find some offense,’ Corydon Central coach Greg Robinson said. ‘We gave a lot of guys a chance and will still give other guys a chance in the next match. We’re still searching. I felt there was a good combination in portions of the first half that worked well.’
Both of Silver Creek’s goals came from the foot of Merlin Palencia.
The opening goal came in the first half when the Dragons pressed forward. Palencia found a seam in the Panthers’ defense and struck a shot in the back of the net. The scored came in the 15th minute.
In the first half, Silver Creek fired five shots, compared to three from Corydon Central. Panthers keeper Beau Brown made three saves in the first half and seven for the game.
It wasn’t until the second half that Silver Creek scored its second goal. Taking a turnover around midfield, Palencia raced in open space toward the goal, beating Brown less than three minutes after the intermission.
Overall, Robinson was pleased with the improved defensive effort.
‘We closed on the ball a lot better,’ Robinson said. ‘Their first goal was a nice play. It probably caught us being over aggressive, allowing them to get into some space where he could get a shot.’
The second goal surrendered was one Robinson would like to have back.
Brown had a key save with 6:38 to play. Corydon Central was whistled for a hand ball in the penalty area, creating a penalty kick for the Dragons. The shot, taken by Jacob Atkins, was attempted at the bottom left of the net. Lunging toward the ball, Brown saved the PK.
‘Beau, for never playing, has taken to goal really well,’ Robinson said. ‘He’s done a great job. His big thing is believing in himself.’
Offensive chances for the Panthers, throughout the match, were limited. Transitioning from the midfield to the forward positions has its ups and downs. In all, the Panthers took seven shots, most coming from distance. Drew Uesseler, Trevor Wiley, Grant Smith and Alex Jiminez provided most of the opportunities.
‘We’ve been struggling with passing all year,’ Robinson said. ‘We have a lot of guys without a lot of soccer experience. With all the trials and tribulations we’ve had this year, we’ve not had our team on the field that much.’
Robinson said he saw flashes of the offense coming together but the consistency is missing.
‘They will come. It’s a work in progress,’ he said.
The Panthers will return to action today (Wednesday) when they host rival North Harrison at 6 p.m. They’ll also host Heritage Hills at 11 a.m. Saturday.