North Montgomery was not about to let a little adversity get in the way of a victory in the first round of the Crawfordsville Girls Soccer sectional as the Chargers posted a 3-1 win over Frankfort.
The victory put the Chargers (9-7-1) in the semifinal match against Greencastle beginning at 5 p.m., after the Tiger Cubs knocked off Danville 1-0 in overtime on Tuesday.
The Chargers were forced to change up its defense heading into the sectional opener as a non-soccer related injury sidelined North Montgomery goalkeeper Sydnee Turner over the weekend. That gave North Montgomery coach Julie Hodges and her team one day to prepare with a new goalie and some other changes to the defense.
“Once we found out Sydnee was out, I called Kesley (Anderson) and said ‘you are it’,” Hodges said. “She said she had it and we would be OK.”
At first, Anderson thought her coach was messing with her.
“I was at work when I got the call and I thought Coach was trying to prank me,” Anderson said. “When I found out she was telling the truth I got a little scared at first. Then I got worried and then I went to sleep. The next day I knew it was good.”
Hodges and the Chargers were lucky in the fact that Anderson did have some experience in goal as she played there in junior high.
“I played goalie in sixth through eighth-grade,” she said. “But I haven’t stepped in there for three years.”
Despite feeling confident with Anderson in goal, some of the pressure was taken off early in the match when junior Sidney Campbell was able to put the Chargers up 1-0 less than eight minutes into the game as she scored her 50th career goal on a rebound off her own shot.
“I think that first goal really eased us all a bit,” Hodges said. “Even though they tied it a short time later, getting out to the early lead allowed us all to breathe a bit.”
Frankfort’s Mariacruz Alanis Hernandez scored off a corner kick 14 minutes into the game and the two teams were tied until late in the first half.
BACON COMES UP BIG
After hitting the post with one shot and missing an open net midway through the first half, North Montgomery freshman Teegan Bacon continued her outstanding season with a unassisted goal with just 3:07 left in the first half to put the Chargers up for good.
“Teegan is one of our most tactical players we have on the team,” Hodges said. “It could have been easy for her to shut down when she missed those earlier shots, but she didn’t. In fact, that’s something I love about this team. All season long I have never really seen anyone shut down, whether it be on offense or defense. “
Bacon scored her second goal of the game in with 20 minutes to play in the game off an assist from Courtney Engels to secure the 3-1 win.
ADJUSTMENTS ALL GAME
Hodges praised the defense for making changes throughout the game as a back injury limited one of her starters.
“We made adjustments before the game and we were making changes all throughout the second half,” she said. “No one complained. No one questioned what we asked them to do, they just went out and did it.”
Going in the game Hodges wanted to dominate possession and keep the number of shots on goal to five or less. Frankfort got off eight shots on goal and after the first one got past Anderson she had seven saves.
The Chargers scored its three goals on seven shots on goal.
LOOKING FOR WIN NO. 10
The win gave the Chargers its ninth win of the season and that marks the third season in a row the team has stood at 9-7-1. The nine wins ties a school record for wins in a season.
The Chargers also posted just its fifth sectional victory in the school’s history. The school won one game in 2005, two in 2012 (the team’s only trip to the sectional final) and its last sectional win before Tuesday came in overtime in 2016 against Greencastle.