Center Grove upset third-ranked Evansville Memorial Saturday afternoon, but fell one game short of making the state finals following a 3-1 loss to No. 6 Columbus North in the finals of Saturday’s Evansville Harrison Semi-State.
The fourth-ranked Trojans gave the Bull Dogs all they could handle. After falling behind 2-0 with 15 minutes left in the game, Kyle Parry scored to cut the lead in half. But Columbus North would add another goal and go on to win its second consecutive semi-state.
“I think tonight’s officiating had a whole lot to do with the outcome of the soccer game,” Center Grove coach Phil Orlando said. “I’m not happy with it. I think the folks that officiated this game were in way over their heads. I’m not making excuses. I’m just saying this was a very poorly officiated soccer game, and it’s just sad we get to this level in the semi-state and we get this level of officiating.”
The Bull Dogs (16-4-1) will play at around 3:30 p.m. Saturday at IUPUI against the winner of the Warsaw Semi-State championship game, which featured No. 2 Warsaw and Hamilton Southeastern.
Columbus North’s first goal came in the 35th minute when Brad Shaw stole a pass from the defense, dribbled around two defenders and put one in the left corner of the net. The game stayed 1-0 until the 65th minute when Shaw took a pass from Parker Hirsch on the left side and rocketed one in.
But the Trojans (18-3-1) didn’t go away. A little over a minute later, Parry scored.
But the Bull Dogs weren’t done either. Jerrett Stark scored on a follow shot off a rebound from Center Grove keeper Dalton Mudd’s save on a Will Bridgeman free kick.
North outshot the Trojans 14-9, putting five shots on goal to Center Grove’s four. Mudd recorded three saves for the Trojans.
“I think we play a good brand, and the kids work really hard,” Columbus North coach Andy Glover said. “They stay true to their aims, and this was a good, fine team they beat tonight in Center Grove.”