The Center Grove girls soccer team’s bid for regional championship ended Saturday against a familiar opponent.
Warren Central, buoyed by two goals from sophomore midfielder Braegan Lyon and smothering defense that kept the Trojans off the board until the final minute of play, beat Center Grove 2-1 to win in the championship match of the Class 2A Shelbyville Regional.
Warren Central (14-6-1) not only avenged an earlier 2-1 loss to Center Grove in Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference play, but also moves on to the Evansville Harrison Semistate.
Center Grove, meanwhile, finished the year 13-5-2.
“Hats off to Warren Central,” Center Grove coach Todd Sheely said. “They came out in the first half and they wanted it for sure. (Warren Central coach) Gary Roberts did an amazing job of getting his girls ready.
“They struggled towards the end of the season, but he got them rallied and ready to go in the tournament.”
Center Grove applied pressure early but was not able to maintain the intensity for the duration of the match.
The Trojans kept the ball in the Warriors’ end of the field for the first 20 minutes of play but, despite a couple of shots, couldn’t create a scoring opportunity.
Warren Central got its offense going when sophomore forward Kaitlin Wells took control of the ball, dribbled past the Trojans’ defense and took a shot that bounced off one of Center Grove’s players. That’s when Lyon, who was in front of the goal, kicked it in past Center Grove goalie Jessika Humphrey to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute of play.
Warren Central struck again in the second half when duo of Wells and Lyon scored again on a goal nearly identical to the first one.
Wells dribbled past the Trojans’ defense, but this time passed to an open Lyon who kicked it in during the 63rd minute.