FLOYDS KNOBS —
Early in the season, it was fairly clear that Floyd Central and Providence were the cream of the Floyd Central Sectional crop.
On Tuesday, both teams overcame being shut out in the first half to move on to face each other in Thursday’s semifinal. Providence got by Corydon Central 2-0 and the Highlanders exploded late for a 4-0 win over New Albany.
Floyd Central beat the two-time defending Class A semistate champion Pioneers 3-1 earlier this season.
“We expect an all-out battle as usual,” Highlanders’ coach Lewie Stevens said.
“It will be a formidable challenge,” Providence coach Dave Smith said. “There will be no surprises. It will be one of those intense, great games. If anybody has been saving their $5 to come out to one game this year, this is the one. It will be an entertaining, hard-played game. It could be the game of the year.”
Jeffersonville will face Silver Creek in Thursday’s second semifinal with the winners squaring off at 6 p.m. on Saturday for the sectional crown.
FLOYD CENTRAL 4, NEW ALBANY 0
After an even, scoreless first half, Floyd Central came out peppering New Albany goalkeeper Haley Young early in the second half.
Floyd junior Christin Miller had two early opportunities that Young denied. With 27:11 left in the contest, Miller finally got one by Young to give the 11-5-2 Highlanders the goal they were seeking.
“In the first part of the [second] half, we were continually getting shots on goal and couldn’t get one in,” Miller said. “When that shot went in, it was like it’s finally our game.”
Molly Yothers added a goal less than two minutes after Miller’s.
The Highlanders’ leading scorer on the year, Lauren Wyatt, added a third goal on a pretty pass from freshman Halee Tanner with 8:56 to play. Two minutes later, Ellie Stewart blooped a shot just over Young’s outstretched hands for a 4-0 lead.
“We’re excited to move on,” Stevens said. “That was a great second half for us.”
After being beaten 6-0 by Floyd Central less than a month ago, New Albany first-year coach Tim Quakenbush was proud of his team’s effort, particularly in the first half.
“In the first half, we felt like we played lights out,” he said. “The girls executed the game plan very well. I’m happy with the way they played.”
The defending sectional champions finished the season 8-9.
“It’s been a terrific season,” Quakenbush said. “We’re young and we have a lot to look forward to in the coming years.”