GREENFIELD — It had not only been a long time since New Palestine had beaten Greenfield-Central in boys soccer, it had been a long time since they had even scored.

The Dragons took care of both eight-year stretches Thursday at the G-C Soccer Complex.

When Elliott Canova scored on a penalty kick with 4:41 remaining in the first half one eight-year drought ended.

With second-half insurance goals from Paxton Holmes and Cole Christopher, New Palestine had finished the job and ended the winless streak against its Hancock County rivals with a 3-0 victory.

Prior to Thursday, New Palestine had lost eight straight matches, including a regular-season and sectional contest last year.

In 2015, G-C won the regular season game, but the Dragons won on penalty kicks, after a 0-0 score in regulation, in the postseason.

“We’re thrilled about (beating Greenfield-Central). We had to fight a lot harder tonight. They put a lot of pressure on us,” New Palestine coach Brett Canova said. “I love what we did. It wasn’t our best game, but we just fought through it. A little more gritty tonight than it has been pretty. It was a good game.”

Holmes and Dragon seniors Cohen Wintin and Andon Colclazier had multiple first-half opportunities. Wintin hit the crossbar once and had two other close attempts, one going wide right near the midway point of the half and another in the final eight minutes saved by Greenfield-Central goalkeeper Nathan Robbins.

Holmes, shortly after Wintin hit the crossbar, missed high. Just prior to Elliott Canova getting fouled in the box for a penalty kick attempt, Colclazier had near misses, both high and right of the goal. He later had one hit the top of the crossbar.

When G-C’s Carson Cicenas fouled Elliott Canova in the box, the New Pal senior and team’s leading scorer, found the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. It was Canova’s 10th goal of the season.

Though the Dragons had more scoring opportunities, they didn’t take a two-goal lead until Holmes knocked one in, assisted by Colclazier. Canova had dribbled the ball in deep but his attempt was blocked by Robbins. The Cougars were unable to clear the ball out and Holmes was able to finish with 14:09 left in the game.

With 7:43 to go, Christopher found the top right corner of the goal for a 3-0 advantage.

“I had a lot of missed shots in the first half that I barely missed and to put that one in felt really good,” Holmes said of his goal that gave New Palestine a 2-0 advantage. “It feels so good (to win). Apparently we hadn’t even scored since 2015. This is one of the best feelings of my life. Last year, I had a shot that barely missed in the sectional (match), so that was my motivation coming in.”

The win was big in more ways than just ending a long stretch of losses and shutouts, it improved New Palestine’s Hoosier Heritage Conference record to 5-0 with two matches remaining. The Dragons travel to Delta Saturday. The Eagles are 3-2 in conference play after losing 2-0 to Pendleton Heights Thursday. The Arabians are also unbeaten in HHC play at 3-0. The Dragons and Arabians meet Sept. 28 at New Palestine.

“We earned it,” coach Canova added. “We had missed so many. That’s what I love about this team, a couple years ago we probably panic and start shooting like crazy and doing foolish things. Tonight, they stayed calm and stayed focused on the game. They didn’t worry about missing shots. They kept going at it. I love that about them. It’s a different mindset and I love it, good patience.”

Greenfield-Central dropped to 2-9 overall and 1-4 in the HHC.

“I think composure won at the end of the day,” Greenfield-Central assistant coach Matt McConnell said. “New Pal kept composure, especially late in the match. Our boys lost some of that with their play at the end.”

Greenfield-Central returns to action Thursday at Shelbyville.