SHELBYVILLE — As his team’s frustrations mounted from not being able to find the back of the net, Mt. Vernon coach Aaron Britt implored his players to keep sending the ball in to the New Palestine defensive zone, to keep executing their runs. He told them it would eventually pay off with a score.
With one minute and 16 seconds remaining in the second overtime period, Britt’s words finally met merit.
Off a lofted ball from Matt Powell, Mouhamed Konate headed the ball past the outstretched arms of NP goal keeper Jaron Pridgen for the game’s only score, handing the Marauders a 1-0 victory in the sectional final against their Hancock County rivals.
Mt. Vernon consistently applied pressure to the Dragon defense all night, registering 14 shots on goal, 12 more than its opponents.
MV (11-6-2) advances to play Southport (12-7) in the second regional semifinal Thursday at 7:15 p.m. in Fortville. Center Grove (15-2-1) and Warren Central (6-6-4) will play in the first semifinal match at 5:30 p.m.
New Palestine finishes with a record of 10-7-1.
The defeat was especially crushing to NP coach Bobby Holden — also the coach of the school’s girls’ soccer team — as the New Palestine girls fell to Greenfield-Central 2-0 in the sectional final earlier Saturday evening, snapping the program’s streak of consecutive sectional titles at six.
For a full recap complete with photos, read Tuesday’s Daily Reporter.