Norton’s Goal ENDS E-Town’s Streak Over Central Hardin
Norton’s Goal Ends E-Town Streak Over Central Hardin
It has been said that all good things must come to an end. That being said then even streaks must also including the Elizabethtown’s Mastery over Central Hardin in girls soccer. Thanks to Brooke Norton’s second half goal, the Lady Bruins finally put an end to a five game losing streak to the Lady Panthers in a game which had a little of everything including a few testy moments between the two head coaches during the game.
What better way to add to a crosstown rivalry that has been very entertaining over the years. Norton’s goal came early in the second half when Brittany Music came flying down the left sideline and fed Norton with a cross field pass just in front of the goal which Norton poked pass the Elizabethtown Goalkeeper. After that, it was up to the Central Hardin defense which time and time again had to turn back Elizabethtown attempts to tie the game. It looked like it would be buisness as usual for Lady Panther head coach Pat Black’s team which had found a way to win the last five games between the two teams including four by shutout after Central Hardin had taken the previous four straight meetings including playoffs and it looked like that might happen again when Ella Durbin got one through the Lady Bruin defense for an early 1-0 Elizabethtown lead in the first half.
It seemed like that might hold up against the Lady Panther defense which had allowed just 12-goals total in their last 16-games. But just before the first half came to a close, senior Brentyn Dodd may have hit the most important shot of the game by firing one nearly 30-feet from the left side over Goalkeeper Emma Thompkins to tie the game with less than two minutes remaining. Dodd later said that breaking through like that against a team which had been so hard to score upon for so long was a big key and then Norton got the game winner early in the second half. This has been a strange season for Central Hardin and head coach Chris Ernst, who many felt would directly challenge Elizabethtown’s dominace this season, but injuries to key players including the loss of Goalkeeper Grace Borgerding for the rest of the season helped cripple the team’s production and then a stretch where they went 1-3 including a District loss to North Hardin didn’t help.
Since then, the Lady Bruins have been more consistant going 5-1 and look like the team they were predicted to be. Still, the Number One seed is a long shot with two District losses, it appears they will be the No.2 seed with Elizabethtown the top seed. But a win over powerful Elizabethtown is always a good confidence builder after five losses to the same team and since there is an outside chance they might see each other two more times, the next chapter couldn’t be possibly any more interesting or exciting as the last six.
Five The Hard Way!
Since 2001, when Rob Zoeller took over the head coaching job of Elizabethtown Girls Soccer, the Elizabethtown – Central Hardin series has been interesting to say the most, but one sided to say the least with the Lady Panthers going 15-0 during a six year period after a 1-0 loss to Central Hardin during the team’s second meeting. E-Town was also 3-0 against the powder blue in 2006 when Debbie McGiness took over for one season when Zoeller left to coach Spalding College then returned in 2007 to go 4-0 against them. In 2009 to the present, Elizabethtown went 18-8-1 under Jerry Crabtree and Pat Black and during that period there have been more than a few games that might stand out as a bit painful for the Lady Bruin faithful during that time. Here are five of the more recent that add to that legacy.
October 21, 2006 (5th Region Final at Nelson County) – A game which was pushed back a day because of weather issues involved the two titans on a Saturday afternoon and a two goals in overtime spelled Lady Panther victory in a game which turned to be head coach Jacki Hafer’s last for Central Hardin.
October 15, 2009 (17th District Championship at TK Stone) – In a game which went scoreless during regulation and then was tied 1-1 in overtime, Elizabethtown took out Central Hardin in a shootout. It turned out to be the first District Final for new Etown coach Jerry Crabtree and not the last time the two teams would meet in such unusual circumstances.
October 22, 2009 (5th Region Championship at TK Stone) – Once again, the two teams met for a chance to advance to the State Sub-Sectionals and this time it was all defense as the regulation ended in a scoreless tie, then late in the overtime period, a Lady Panther corner kick was redirected by Taylor Perkins for the game winner. The Goal allowed Elizabethtown to advance to the state tournament and Lady Bruin goalkeeper Ainsley Moorman with a headache.
August 28, 2017 – In the first regular season meeting between the two which was actually moved up to an early start because of weather issues, a defensive struggle was the story as the score had goose eggs until late in the second half when a Lady Bruin runout came up empty with less than five minutes left and Elizabethtown took it the other way with Gabby Garcia getting the game winner in a 1-0 Lady Panther win.
September 27, 2017 – Perhaps the most bizarre of the series. Neither team had ever came back from a 3-0 deficit to win between the two until now. Central Hardin took a 3-0 first half lead doing pretty much anything they wanted, but then Elizabethtown got two goals to make it 3-2 and with time running out in regulation , Courtney Brangers fired a direct kick past the Lady Bruin goalkeeper with seconds remaining to tie the game at 3. In the first overtime, Ella Durbin became the next Elizabethtown hero as she fired one from the right side that went in for a 4-3 Lady Panther win.