SHELBYVILLE — As his team’s frustrations mounted from not being able to find the back of the net, Mt. Vernon soccer coach Aaron Britt implored his players to keep sending the ball in to the New Palestine defensive zone, to keep executing their runs. He assured 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 found 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 Saturday against their Hancock County rivals.
MV (11-6-2) will play Southport (12-7) in the second regional semifinal Thursday at 7:15 p.m. in Fortville. 2A No. 4 Center Grove (15-2-1) and Warren Central (6-6-4) will play in the first semifinal match at 5:30 p.m.
Mt. Vernon advanced Wednesday with a 2-0 win over defending sectional champion Greenfield-Central, while New Palestine moved on by edging Shelbyville 1-0.
The sectional crown is the first since 2010 for the Hoosier Heritage Conference champion Marauders, who have prevailed in 10 of their past 16 sectional tournaments. The victory also quantified a measure of redemption for the team members who were involved the 1-0 defeat to New Palestine in last season’s sectional semifinal.