Goal-less draw for Cougars-Panthers
Corydon Central and North Harrison knew a little bit about ties coming into their meeting last Tuesday. Within the Mid-Southern Conference, both tied Salem earlier in their respective schedules.
When the rival Cougars traveled to face the Panthers, an up-and-down second half failed to produce a goal for either team. The match concluded with a 0-0 score.
Corydon Central managed to out-shoot North Harrison in the first half 9-1. The second half was a bit tighter, with the Panthers attempting nine additional shots while North Harrison had three.
Changes in North Harrison’s midfield and defense saw improvement in play, according to coach Clint Clark.
‘I made some switches, putting Andrew Robertson in the back,’ Clark said. ‘I moved Noah Yost to the midfield. I wanted a lot of speed, so we played a hybrid five-man back line. I wanted guys back there with speed and some aggression that don’t mind bodying up.’
Although Corydon Central took more shots, most came from range.
‘I was pleased we got so many shots,’ Corydon Central coach Greg Robinson said. ‘They weren’t always the best, but they were shots.’
Corydon Central’s Beau Brown took a shot 17 minutes into the second half that was stopped. More shots came in the next few minutes with Alex Jiminez and Steve Quinn taking stabs at the goal.
The best opportunity for the Panthers came in the 50th minute when Grant Smith fired a hard shot from 18 yards out that was blocked by Robertson. The rebound went straight to Smith’s head, but the second shot was corralled by North Harrison keeper Quinn Kaiser.
Five minutes later, North Harrison took a shot off the boot of Yost, but his attempt was high and wide of target.
In the 59th minute, North Harrison’s Hunter Ganote took a free kick from the right-center of the pitch. His ball landed at an unmarked Noah Adkins, who was sitting in front of goal. Striking the ball on his first touch, the shot went over the bar.
‘Atkins had a great opportunity,’ Clark said. ‘The fact we took it quick helped us. We’ve talked about taking free kicks quicker to catch defenses off guard, and we did. They have to learn to play quick. It was a great opportunity.’
Corydon Central had a few chances late. Trevor Wiley took a crack, as did Smith, in the final 10 minutes, but Kaiser had the saves.
Robinson said he saw improvements in his team, mainly in counterattacks.
‘We were a lot more alert on converting from one side of the field to the other,’ he said. ‘We had some pretty good counters. Then, when we gave the ball up, we marked up really quick. It was done with better effort.’
Taking on a younger North Harrison team, Robinson felt the Panthers did a good job playing physical.
‘North Harrison is young, but they have some skill,’ he said. ‘They have guys with good touch. We were a little more physical, and I think that helped keep them at bay more.’
Increased effort by the Cougars pleased their skipper.
‘That was an exciting game,’ Clark said. ‘It wasn’t chippy and was played clean. This was what our program is about, competing and working hard. If we work hard, I’m good.’
Kaiser excelled in goal for North Harrison, making several diving saves.
‘He is incredible,’ Clark said of the freshman keeper. ‘He played soccer and football in the eighth grade and gave up football for soccer. He’s a really good basketball player, and that translates to judging the flight of the (soccer) ball really well.’
Corydon Central keeper Jay Brent earned the clean sheet for the Panthers.
Corydon Central will return to league play tomorrow (Thursday) when the Panthers host Austin. North Harrison, meanwhile, will head to Lanesville on Monday.