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Lady Cats’ season ends on early goal

Lady Cats’ season ends on early goal
Lady Cats’ season ends on early goal
North Harrison senior defender Jaicey Stone tries to keep control of the ball while moving around Madison midfielder Carla Gasper during the Lady Cats' 1-0 sectional loss to the Lady Cubs last Wednesday. Photo by Brandon Miniard
Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]

While sports fans all over the nation prepared for Major League Baseball’s National League Wild Card Game in Los Angeles last Wednesday, a different play-off storm was brewing in Madison.

Before the pitcher’s duel between Max Scherzer and Adam Wainwright, the North Harrison girls’ soccer team were in a duel on the pitch for their play-off lives against the host Lady Cubs in last week’s Indiana High School Athletic Association Sectional 31. After scoring a goal within the first two minutes of the contest, the Lady Cats became desperate to sneak a tying goal by a rock-solid Lady Cubs defense for the remaining 78 minutes.

That goal for the Lady Cubs came in strange fashion over a minute and a half in as the Lady Cats were set for an inbound throw. Alongside moving photographers off the field onto the nearby track, match officials ruled the Lady Cats committed an illegal throw, resulting in the Lady Cubs being awarded the ball.

Despite initial protest from Lady Cats’ head coach Laura Rainbolt, the Lady Cubs took advantage by notching a goal courtesy of Iyana Phelps, giving the Lady Cubs a 1-0 advantage about two minutes in.

For the remaining 38 minutes of the half, the Lady Cats battled both the Lady Cubs’ defense and a brief power outage that knocked the Cub Field video board out of commission. Amid the slightly darker field of play, the Lady Cats failed to score before halftime began with the scoreboard lit in the Lady Cubs’ favor.

While they had many more scoring opportunities in the second half, the Lady Cats’ efforts to score continued to bear no fruit. Whenever they did get a shot on goal, the ball found the hands of Lady Cubs’ goalkeeper Alaina Kelley. The result was an eventual 1-0 Lady Cubs’ victory as the first two minutes proved to be the Lady Cats’ ultimate downfall.

With the loss, the Lady Cats (4-10, 3-3 MSC) depart with its quintet of seniors: defenders Jaicey Stone, Ava Burden and Emma Robertson forwards Diana Burgher and Ali Saunders. Aside from the five seniors, the young Lady Cats expect to return a majority of their roster, including lone junior midfielder Audrey Tucker.