SHELBYVILLE — Before its sectional semifinal tilt, members of the injury-riddled New Palestine boys’ soccer team did some ‘blonding’ by dying each player’s hair as yellow as a Hancock County cornfield.
And with the defensive performance the Dragons (10-6-1) put forth in their 1-0 shutout victory over the host Golden Bears (4-8-1) Wednesday, perhaps the NP faithful should refer to its revamped defense as the ‘Blonde Blockade.’
New Palestine advances to take on county foe Mt. Vernon in the sectional final at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Shelbyville.
MV (10-6-2) moved on by defeating defending sectional champion Greenfield-Central (8-7) 2-0 in the first semifinal Wednesday.
Injuries had forced NP coach Bobby Holden to re-shuffle his lineup entering the postseason.
Starting midfielder Bryson Basaran — the team’s leading scorer with 12 goals — was lost for the year in the team’s regular-season finale against Pendleton Heights with a torn ACL in his left knee. Ryan Perkins, a first-string forward, is also out for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.
Starting midfielder Ben Richter (broken collarbone) and fill-in starter Alex Melangton (concussion) — also a midfielder — were unable to suit up against Shelbyville but could play against Mt. Vernon.
Holden chuckled at the suggestion that his squad was a bit undermanned Wednesday night.
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