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NH’s Robertson boots winner

NH’s Robertson boots winner
NH’s Robertson boots winner
North Harrison's Carl Robertson fires the eventual game-winning goal against Corydon Central late in the second half Thursday. Photo by Brian Smith

North Harrison didn’t want another tie, especially playing the final 33 minutes against rival Corydon Central with a man advantage.
Off the bench, super-sub Carl Robertson provided the heroics. With 10:20 to play in a scoreless match-up, the senior booted a shot over keeper Nathan Shehorn. The ball was deflected by Shehorn, sneaking under the crossbar. The goal sent Robertson flying in the air to celebrate with Hunter Ganote, provider of the assist.
‘I was running alongside Hunter, and he passed it perfectly over to me,’ Robertson recalled. ‘Thankfully, I got a good foot on it and the goalie couldn’t reach it.’
The one goal was enough as North Harrison defeated rival Corydon Central 1-0 Thursday night in front of a large crowd.
Robertson, fairly new to soccer, playing his second season, was glad coach Clint Clark decided to put him in the game after hesitating in the first half.
‘I came off the bench pretty late, and normally coach puts me in earlier,’ Robertson said. ‘But I’m kind of confused why I scored because I’ve only been here a little over a year and these guys have been here forever. It almost doesn’t feel right for me to score and not one of them.’
Neither team could find the goal in the first half. An early shot by Noah Yost to start the second half was saved by Shehorn. Five minutes later, he thwarted an attempt by Ben Waynescott.
Corydon Central also had opportunities, including a header by Trevor Wiley that sailed over the goal.
In the 46th minute, the game changed when Andrew Robertson took a shot when the Panthers’ keeper came off his line. The clearance went to Ganote, who fired a shot toward the net as Corydon Central’s Eddie Chavez and Sam Nance retreated. On the shot, Chavez illegally used his arm to prevent a Ganote goal. After the ref showed Chavez a red card, Ganote stepped to the penalty spot to take a PK.
The chance, fired to the bottom left, was saved by Shehorn.
‘Unfortunately, you catch a bad break when you go a man down,’ Corydon Central’s coach Greg Robinson said. ‘We lost our best outside midfielder (Devon Conrad) during warm-ups. We tried to play him the first 20 minutes but he couldn’t go. We lost another to an injury, then go a man down. I’m happy with how we played but bitterly disappointed in the outcome.’
Gaining a man advantage but missing the penalty caused the Cougars to mentally adjust.
‘We both had to adjust tactically,’ North Harrison coach Clint Clark said. ‘(Corydon Central) brought a lot of guys back in the beginning then started to creep forward. We got out of our game with possession. We were streaky with our possession, and Corydon had a lot to do with that.’
Clark said Corydon Central’s aggressive play ‘ coming to the ball hard ‘ took them out of what the Cougars wanted to do offensively.
Isaac Gleitz had a crossing shot in the 60th minute nearly cross the line while Yost’s backward flick with his head was snared.
Corydon Central also had offensive opportunities. D’Angelo Laaz fired a shot that was saved by Quinn Kaiser. Ryan Shewmaker and Wiley had deep runs to the latter third of the field as well.
Ganote had an open shot with 13 minutes left when Yost slipped him a pass through the Panthers’ defense. The attempt, however, was wide of target.
‘Our possession was going well, but it was back and forth,’ Yost said. ‘You get nervous and start to push a little more than you should. It turned into a more through-ball game in the second half. A game like this, you never know what is going to happen.’
North Harrison finally cracked the Corydon Central midfield and defense, scoring with Carl Robertson in the 71st minute.
Corydon Central had a few late pushes after the goal, including Shehorn peeling off the keeper jersey to join the attack. A Logan Daily shot nearly went in for Corydon Central with a few minutes to go but rocketed off the bar and out of play.
‘We made some plays, but what do you tell kids when they play hard for 30 minutes a man down?’ Robinson asked. ‘We won a lot of balls in the middle of the field. Our goal was to control the middle of the field.’
When Carl Robertson scored the goal, fellow North Harrison senior James Medina was fired up.
‘So far, in my career, we haven’t beat Corydon until now,’ Medina said. ‘To win, I was tearing up after we scored. Once we scored, it was time to park the bus and play defense.’
Often in the rivalry, the play is aggressive. Corydon Central picked up three yellow cards, while North Harrison had one.
‘They play more aggressive, so you have to match it, especially in a rivalry,’ Cougars’ defender Clayton Fonda said. ‘We have to work together and communicate in the back.’
Throughout the first half, Robinson felt his team was in a solid position. The Cougars earned three corners and took seven shots. Ryan Shewmaker had a few close calls at scoring for the Panthers.
‘I felt we were the aggressor and out-hustled them,’ Robinson said. ‘I thought we deserved better. Not to discredit North Harrison, but we gave a great effort with a game plan to bottle them up. They have good skill players, but I think we played harder.’
Last year, a scoreless tie was the final score. Clark feared the match was headed the same direction. Unselfish play, leading to the Robertson goal, was an area Clark sees as the greatest improvement.
‘As a senior, a lot of times, guys want to be the hero,’ Clark said. ‘They’ve done a good job subduing the upperclassmen thing for the betterment of the team. They’ve worked hard all summer long and have taken charge.’
North Harrison improved to 7-1-1 overall and 5-0 in the MSC. The Cougars faced fellow unbeaten MSC-foe Silver Creek last night (Tuesday).
Andrew Robertson, cousin of Carl, was ecstatic about the win despite a long recovery from cramps.
‘I’m personally proud of everyone,’ Andrew said. ‘As a team, we’ve come a long way. My freshman year, this game was like a UFC fist-fight. Then, sophomore year, it was close and last year we tied. Coming out with a win this year shows the progression of the program. It means a lot to be part of the program and to play for coach Clark.’
Both programs will play Monday; Corydon Central will host Scottsburg while the Cougars will host Lanesville.