It’s been something that’s been three years in the making, well actually a little more than that. There was wide range of emotions Thursday at Crawfordsville High School when the CHS girls soccer hosted county rival North Montgomery. The two county rivals battled rain throughout, but the play on the field was dominated by the home team. Crawfordsville controlled the entire game and were 7-0 winners as the Athenians claimed their first county title since 2015.
It took just a minute and a half for CHS to get on the board when sophomore Beatrice Swick got the Athenians started. Caroline Novak scored off a corner kick at the 14-minute mark then Riley Gardner added two goals to make it 4-0 Athenians at halftime. Gardner completed the hat trick just seven minutes into the second half, Swick added her second goal minutes late, than Molly Pierce put the stamp on the county title with her second goal of the season.
After the win Cville coach Alex Ehrlich got a much deserved water bath from his players as the celebration got underway.
“Tonight is a result of year’s of hard work,” Crawfordsville coach Alex Ehrlich said. “It seems like we’ve been waiting for this to happen ever since I took over. We’ve been building and grinding our way to this moment. We were right there last year with both games not going our way and to come out and to play a game like this to clinch the county title, the girls are starting to reap the rewards of their work and things are beginning to click with us.”
Crawfordsville (6-6, 2-2 SAC) got a 3-2 overtime win against Southmont on Tuesday to put themselves in this position. Not only does the win mean a county title, but it’s also the fifth straight win for Crawfordsville after a 1-6 start to the season. Ehrlich noted a specific point after a loss to Central Catholic where he believes his team turned the corner.
“It took a little tough at practice after our loss to Central Catholic,” Ehrlich noted. “That was a game where we should’ve competed better than what we did. I think our girls were a little exhausted after that, but it took a tough talk about not giving up when things get hard. Seeing these girls compete and perform after those little set-backs, they’ve done nothing but continue to improve and we got the win against South Vermillion, then their attitudes began to change and now the results are speaking for themselves.”
North Montgomery (2-10, 0-6 SAC) struggled all night to keep possession, which has been their Achilles heel all year. Charger coach Julie Hodges noted how the loss was a tough pill to swallow for her and her team as they entered the game with hopes of coming out on top.
“We prepared them for what Crawfordsville was going to do, and we did the exact opposite of what we prepared for,” she said. “Congrats to Crawfordsville because when you want a championship, you have to go out and earn it, and they definitely did. You can’t beat a team if you don’t score. We couldn’t even get a shot off let alone try and score. That shows you where we are right now. We can’t use the excuse that we’re a young team anymore with one week left in the regular season. I thought we had something click when we played Frankfort, but tonight was a giant step backwards for us.”
The night also was a special one for the three Crawfordsville seniors as they were honored before the game. Taylor Abston, Zoe Corbin, and Emily Weliver. Ehrlich gave his three seniors all the praise for their hard work and dedication on their special night.
“I have a special relationship with Taylor because we were basically brought up together,” Ehrlich said. “I was the assistant coach her freshman year and then got the job and have had the privilege to coach her these past three years. Seeing her grow into the athlete she is now has been awesome. Emily is really coach-able and has a high soccer IQ. She’s brought tremendous leadership for us when we’ve needed it. Zoey is just one of the funniest people I’ve ever met while being one of the kindest as well. She’s a little bit of a goofball which makes for some added fun. It was a great day when I got to put the captain band on her arm. They’re all great kids.”
Crawfordsville will host Tri-West Monday as the final week of the regular season gets underway. The Athenians will travel to WeBo on Wednesday before concluding the regular season next Saturday by hosting Frankfort.
North will be back in action on Saturday with a trip to Covington. They’ll travel to Faith Christian on Monday before concluding the regular season on Wednesday by hosting Lebanon.