SHELBYVILLE — Mt. Vernon started quickly and finished strong to break its two-match losing streak Saturday in Shelbyville.
Mouhamed Konate scored twice and Aaron Gilpin and Drew Kiser added second-half goals to secure a 4-1 win over a shorthanded Shelbyville squad playing without its head coach and four players, including starting goalkeeper Takashi Urabe.
Shelbyville boys’ soccer coach Mike Eggleston works for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and is assigned to the security detail for the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. The Golden Bears also played without veteran sweeper Leonardo Lua, who was away from the team for personal reasons, as were Urabe and forwards Daiki and Kazuki Endo.
Mt. Vernon (5-2, 3-1 Hoosier Heritage Conference) showed little mercy for Shelbyville. Head coach Aaron Britt wanted a fast start following back-to-back losses to New Palestine and Columbus East.
Kyle Cansler drew applause from Britt with a perfect crossing pass in the opening six minutes that Konate flicked by Shelbyville goalkeeper Charles Kocher, who was making his first varsity start.
The Marauders dominated the first 10 minutes of play.
“The fast start, the intensity and the effort was what we were looking for,” said Britt. “We’ve been pretty slow starters this season so we didn’t want to get off to another slow start.”
The Golden Bears finally settled in for a physical first half, although no yellow cards were issued, between programs with a long history together.
Cole Johnson tied the game at the 17:42 mark when he punched a crossing shot from Shane Brown past Mt. Vernon’s Corban Hartley.
“I thought Shelbyville really stepped it up a little bit,” said Britt. “We’ve played really well in the second half this season and it held true.”
Less than two minutes into the second half, Konate gave the Marauders the lead again when he gathered in a C.J. Coleman pass and beat Kocher to the far corner for his 12th goal of the season.
Six minutes later, Gilpin scored after Kocher couldn’t hold on to a Cansler shot. With the ball on the ground in front of the net, Gilpin touched it in. Cansler got credit for an assist.
Kiser added a goal inside the final two minutes on Cansler’s third assist after Shelbyville’s Ruben Rosales failed to clear the ball.
The two programs may meet again in October when Shelbyville hosts the four-team sectional also featuring HHC members Greenfield-Central and New Palestine.
Shelbyville won the junior varsity match, 2-1 Saturday morning.