By JON REITER
FLOYDS KNOBS —
A late first-period goal by Corydon attacker Cory Thomas was all the offense the Panthers needed as they turned back the New Albany boys’ soccer team 1-0 in the early Floyd Central 2A soccer semifinal sectional matchup last night.
Corydon will face Jeffersonville (12-3-2) in Saturday’s 3 p.m. sectional final. The Red Devils advanced with a 3-0 win over the sectional host Highlanders, scoring all three of their goals in the second period.
After a scoreless first period, goals by Brian Fischer (46:04), Leonard Kwintoda (59:00) and Skyler Davis (65:49) broke the match wide open as the Red Devils (12-3-2) advanced over Floyd Central.
Jeffersonville’s intensity was displayed throughout the first period, as they appeared frustrated by their inability to break through despite several shot attempts at the Highlander net. According to coach Carson Webb, that frustration was simply the result of their poor record against Floyd Central over the past few years and their desire to get the win.
“They’re a great program,” Webb said of Floyd Central. “I’ve never beaten them. We have seniors who have never beaten them. So, there’s been somewhat of a wall built up, where if something goes wrong, we feel like we can’t beat them and get frustrated. We needed to calm down [at halftime] and take control over what we could.”
Fischer’s goal, a header, came in off a header pass from Jordan Vejar and went left net past keeper Travis Foster. The goal ignited the Jeffersonville attack, and 10 minutes later, Kwintonda’s goal also came off a feed from Vejar.
Davis’ goal came from deep and floated over the outstretched arms of Foster and sealed the win.
Floyd Central (8-5-2) coach Zach Watson acknowledged the rivalry between the two squads following the loss.
“Everytime we play, things are hectic and chaotic, because everyone out there is trying to win so badly, and there are two guys out there who want to win more than anyone — me and Carson,” Watson said. “But after the match is over, we get together and shake hands and calm back down. I’ve known some of their guys for years.”
There’s reason for optimism next year in Floyds Knobs. The Highlanders lose four seniors but return almost a dozen players in the sophomore and junior classes who either start or see substantial playing time.
“We’ve got a lot to look forward to,” Watson said. “We started the year 3-4-2 and won our last five games. We got better as the year went along and that bodes well for next year.”
CORYDON CENTRAL-NEW ALBANY
Thomas’s breakaway goal came at 31:11 and gave the Panthers (10-4-2) a 1-0 cushion heading into the second period.
Midfielder Juan Moran had a breakaway goal attempt saved by Corydon goalkeeper Austin Leupp at the 64-minute mark, and following a corner kick, a shot attempt off the leg of Juan Rodriguez at point-blank range was stopped by Leupp at 72:00.
Those appeared to be New Albany’s best chances to knot the match up, but the Bulldogs (7-8-1) also squandered a corner kick opportunity with less than a minute left in the match and couldn’t get a shot off from in close.
For New Albany coach Dutch Vigar, it was a matter of not creating enough offense over the duration of the match, he said.
“I thought we possessed the ball better than we did, but we just didn’t create any offense,” he said. “We don’t have players who have a sense that they need to take the ball and go. Consequently, when you look at the number of goals we have this year - it’s low. So it doesn’t do you any good to possess the ball when you’re not scoring any goals.”
New Albany says goodbye to 14 seniors.
CLASS 2A FLOYD CENTRAL SECTIONAL
CORYDON CENTRAL 1, NEW ALBANY 0
Corydon Central 1 0—1
New Albany 0 0—0
Goals: Cory Thomas (CC).
JEFFERSONVILLE 3, FLOYD CENTRAL 0
Jeffersonville 0 3—3
Floyd Central 0 0—0
Goals: Brian Fischer (J); Leonard Kwintonda (J); Skyler Davis (J).
Assists: Jordan Vejar (J) 2.
Shots on Goal: Jeffersonville 7, Floyd Central 4.
Saves: Luis Arredondo (J) 3; Travis Foster (FC) 5.