Jordan Stanley liked being a hero so much, she did it again.
The Southmont senior, coming off six missed games due to a quad injury, scored the Mounties only goal for the second night in a row as she led South to the county title with a 1-0 win over Crawfordsville.
After a first-half goal Monday in the win over Cascade, Stanley took a pass from Emily Smith with 17:38 left in the second half to give South the lead that held through the rest of the wet and windy night.
“She is a senior, she is a captain, she is a leader,” Mounties coach Phil Keller said of the forward, who sports a substantial tape-job on that right leg. “Coming off her injury, and with her goal last night, it says something about her.”
Stanley’s goal, her fourth of the season, came about the same time that the weather turned wet and nasty, with a solid north wind to make the wet good and cold.
It was the highlight of the second half highlight for the visitors, who had to make halftime adjustments after being out-played in the first, as they move to 8-3-1 on the season and 4-3 in the Sagamore Conference.
“We really fought the first half,” Athenians coach Alex Ehrlich said. “It was the intensity of the county matchup. All the girls got after it, they worked hard. We bodied South up and challenged them. The next step is to make that happen for the full 80 minutes.”
Crawfordsville won most of the 50-50 battles in the first half, thwarting South chances and keeping the match in the middle of the pitch. They were not able to cash in, though, with only one shot on goal and just a couple scoring chances.
The Mounties spread their offense out more in the second half, and that turned into more scoring chances.
“We were a little lax in the first half,” Keller said. “Crawfordsville was the better team. We told the players that they had to be more competitive, especially in a county rivalry game like this. We found that will to win, and that makes us 8-3-1. We are very happy to win the county title, and I thought we overall did a nice job.”
The Mounties won more of those battles in the second half, and put five shots on goal, had another six corner kicks, and nine more scoring chances.
The Athenians, who fall to 1-11 overall and 0-4 in the league sometimes had every blue uniform in the defensive zone, were not able to muster enough offense.
“It was just tough to string together a few passes,’ Ehrlich said. “We had one good scoring opportunity with Jayda (Roach). She made a really good pass, but we couldn’t get the shot. Jayda came to play tonight. She is really becoming a tough player. She is learning the game more, using her body better to create shots. She even stayed an extra hour after practice on her birthday to keep working on her shots.”
The junior had the Athenians lone shot on South goalkeeper Belle Miller, who picked up her fourth clean sheet of the season.
“We pressed South, we were not scared to put a body on someone,” Ehrlich said. “We are seeing so much good change and improvement. They are responding. They are so eager. It just takes some time to make all the changes.”
Both teams head into the final two weeks of the regular season.
The Mounties have six days off before heading to Benton Central next Tuesday.
We are going to take it easy for a couple days, get healthy, get ready for Benton Central and next week we can start to work on the end of season details,” Keller said.
The Athenians, who had four games last week, have a single day off before North Montgomery comes in Thursday.
“I told them to go home and take a nap,” Ehrlich said with a grin.
The Athenians have three Sagamore matches left to close the regular season.