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October 11, 2013

GIRLS' SOCCER: Coryell shines in Highlanders’ win over Providence in PKs

Highlanders will face Jeff, a 1-0 winner over Silver Creek, in Saturday’s championship

FLOYDS KNOBS — For a full year, Floyd Central senior goalkeeper Jessica Coryell has had to relive her role in last year’s 5-4 penalty kick defeat to New Albany in the Class 2A Floyd Central Sectional semifinal in penalty kicks.

Coryell allowed all five Bulldog shots and the Highlanders were eliminated while rival New Albany went on to its first sectional title ever.

On Thursday, Coryell made new memories. Good ones.

Coryell out-dueled Providence’s Autumn Meyer — arguably Southern Indiana’s top keeper and a future Division I player — in penalty kicks to give Floyd a 4-3 victory and a spot in Saturday’s sectional championship against Jeffersonville.

“I didn’t want today to be our last game as a team,” Coryell said. “I can’t wait to play against Saturday. Our girls are going to come out strong.”

The Red Devils beat Silver Creek 1-0 on a goal by freshman Bailee Calhoun in the waning moments to earn their spot in the championship.

FLOYD CENTRAL 4, PROVIDENCE 3

After Lauren Wyatt gave the Highlanders a 1-0 lead in the penalty kicks, Coryell blocked Katelyn Koopman’s shot to give Floyd an early advantage.

However, Floyd freshman Halee Tanner’s shot was blocked by Meyer and Mikaila Heavrin got one past Coryell to tie the score at 2-2.

After Floyd’s Ellie Stewart missed high and to the right, the Pioneers’ Mikaila Heavrin scored for a 2-2 deadlock.

After Highlander freshman Halee Tanner and Pioneer sophomore Taylor Hunton both scored, Floyd’s Presley Roos put the pressure on Providence by putting her shot past Meyer for a 4-3 lead.

Providence junior Alyssa Jones missed wide right, setting off a Floyd Central celebration.

“It sounds weird, but it feels like sweet revenge,” Coryell said. “Penalty kicks are so hard on everyone. I hate going to them, but it was nice to come back and win it this time.”

“The only thing we wanted to try to avoid was penalty kicks, mainly because of last year,” Wyatt said. “[Coryell] saved the day. She was awesome.”

Providence’s Sarah Posante looped a shot over Coryell just over a minute into the contest to give the Pioneers an early 1-0 lead. That’s the way the score stood until the break.

Just over seven minutes into the second half, Floyd junior Christin Miller and Meyer raced after a loose ball. The two reached the ball at the same time and collided. McKenzie Garringer beat everyone to the loose ball and tapped it in to knot the game at 1-apiece.

Floyd Central dominated the next 25 minutes — out-shooting the Pioneers 12-2 in the second half — but neither team was able to take the lead.

Then things got crazy.

With 7:14 remaining in regulation, Wyatt beat three Providence defenders and put a shot just out of the reach of Meyer for a 2-1 Highlander lead. Two minutes later, Jordan Reger blooped a shot over Coryell’s head to send the game into overtime.

A minute into the overtime, Wyatt scooted a shot past Meyer for a 3-2 Highlander advantage, but just a minute later, Reger scored her second goal — again a shot just over the outstretch hands of Coryell — tie even the contest again.

Neither team scored in the second overtime.

“We showed a lot of resilience, coming back from a goal behind twice,” Highlander coach Lewie Stevens said. “That was a classic battle. It would have been a killer if we had gone out that way two years in a row.”

The season ended a month earlier than it had the past two season for Providence, which moved from Class A to 2A over the off-season. That didn’t keep Pioneer coach Dave Smith from praising his team’s character.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” Providence coach Dave Smith said. “We played the game the right way and just go outscored in penalty kicks. I’ve never had better effort from a team in any game.”

“My heart goes out to Providence because we know exactly how they feel,” Stevens said. “We felt the exact same way 365 days ago.”

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