BY TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — Western’s girls soccer team beat Oak Hill 3-0 Saturday in Russiaville, scoring all three goals after halftime.
Sarah Connolly scored twice, bookending a Lauren Abney strike. Abby Webster assisted on Connolly’s first netter to open the scoring and turn the action Western’s way. Cybil Johnson had three saves.
“We had a lot of shots in the first half and we maintained possession of the ball, but we weren’t finding the corners [of the goal] and all our shots seemed to find the keeper,” Western coach Nicole Jackson said. “The second half we were finding the corners and we were crashing the nets — had another goal off a rebound — and just started playing more aggressively.”
The Panthers improved to 3-3 with the win.
Kokomo finished 2-1 at the Bloomington tourney over the weekend, just missing out on the title to Evansville Harrison. Evansville Harrison beat Kokomo 1-0 on Friday. Catherine Skaggs had three saves for the Kats (5-3).
“I felt like we came out and really out-played Harrison and they were able to capitalize on an advantage kick later in the first half,” Kokomo coach Kevin Duggins said. “We just weren’t making good decisions on finishing. We lost the tournament by one point because of that game. Evansville got two wins and a tie, and we got two wins.
Kokomo opened Saturday’s play with a 4-0 victory over Martinsville. Taylor Coram scored twice, Jania Eddington and Cheyenne Eltringham also hit the net. Eltringham and Taylor Sparling each had an assist. Skaggs had one save.
The Kats closed with a 2-1 win over Bedford-North Lawrence. Eltringham netted Kokomo’s first goal and then the Kats scored the go-ahead goal came with three minutes left when Michaela Wade scored directly on a corner kick. Skaggs had three saves against BNL.
“I think it was a really good tournament for our young team,” Duggins said. “We lost the first game because we just came in kicking everything up field and expecting things to happen. We had a long talk that night in the hotel room. Then you saw them, the second two games, even when they were dead tired, they applied ball control and moving the ball instead of just kicking it. That’s what we’re trying to get our young girls to understand how to control the game.”
Kokomo split a pair of games in the invite, moving to 3-5 on the season.
The Kats dropped their opener 1-0 to Lebanon. Caleb Cook had seven saves in goal.
Kokomo then closed with a 4-1 victory over Rossville. Philip Heilman, Vinh Lee, Keagan James and Arland McIlrath each scored. Jordan Eley had two assists and McIlrath and Nic Hattenhauer each had one. Cook had three saves.
“We played very well in both games, dominated the first game, had 80 percent of the possession but just could not find the one that mattered most, which was the goal,” Kokomo coach Kismet Morrison said. “But other than that, both games, guys played exceptionally well.”
Northwestern’s boys took fifth in the small-school division for schools with enrollments under 1,000. Wawasee won the meet with a score of 29 on a fast course at Indiana Wesleyan, followed by Fairfield (72) and Delta (149). Northwestern had a score of 166, Maconaquah was ninth with 238, and Eastern was incomplete.
Zach Duranto led Northwestern with a 12th-place finish (17:24), followed by Shad Jakes in 20th (17:47), Charlie Neher in 33rd (18:21), Taylor McLain in 45th (18:46) and Josh Perry in 63rd (19:30).
“I was very pleased with the guys,” NW coach Dave Stevens said. “We had 13 boys run overall and seven out of the 13 had personal bests. Twelve out of the 13 had season bests. They’ve worked really hard the last three weeks in practice and it’s starting to show for them now. The fifth-place finish was good and having two in the top 20 was really good too.”
Lewis Duke led Eastern’s incomplete team with a second-place finish in 16:09. Brenton Cherry followed was 53rd in 19:03, Trevor Buchanan in 76th in 20:37, and Matt Kerner was 91st in 21:17
“Once again we had excellent times, three PRs and a season best,” Eastern coach Brandon Mink said. “Lewis did an excellent job of getting up there near the front and was just six seconds off the winner. I was very happy with the way things worked out.”
Quinn Reinhardt led Maconaquah in 13th (17:24).
Kokomo took 11th out of 19 teams in the large-school division. Warsaw’s Ellis Coon was the fastest individual, covering the course in 15:21.
Jeremy Breedlove led the Kats with a fourth-place finish in a time of 15:51. Ethan Sharp was 35th in 16:56, Jordan Fivecoate was 47th in 17:10, Max McHaney was 82nd in 18:04, and Colten Pearce was 91st in 18:19.
“The Wildkat harriers cut 39 seconds off their season-best time and had all seven varsity runners set personal bests,” Kokomo coach Ricke Stucker said.
South Bend Adams won the meet with a score of 54 in the 25-team invitational. Taylor was incomplete. Kaleil Rucker led Taylor in 110th with a time of 22:31. Stephen Sholty was 119th in 22:58, Nick Denman was 132nd in 25:28.
Taryn Thor set a school record for Northwestern on a fast course at Indiana Wesleyan and took first place in the event.
In team results, Eastern cruised to the finish in second place with a score of 91. Wawasee won with a score of 84, and West Noble was third with 95. In addition, Northwestern was sixth (174) and Maconaquah ninth (204).
Avery Ewing led Eastern with a fourth-place finish (19:44), followed by Jessie Sprinkles in fifth (19:58), Carly Jones in 14th (20:29), Kaylie Forgrave in 22nd (21:21) and Elyssa DeAngulo in 46th (22:39).
“The course was just super fast,” Eastern coach Brandon Mink said. “It was a great day to run, we had great conditions so five our of six girls got PRs and one got a season best. We were pleased with our placings. I thought we did an excellent job, and competing against 19 teams, coming in second was a good day for us.
“Elyssa DeAngulo did an excellent job moving up for the second half of the race — moved up about 20 places the last half of the race.
Thor led Northwestern in first, covering the 5K course in 18:33. She broke her own school record by 52 seconds. Kindra Gingerich was next with a 33nd-place finish (22:00), followed by Karly Sprouse in 36th (22:11), Rachel Johns in 51st (22:49) and Nicole Crocker in 54th (22:52).
“We had 12 girls run. Eleven of the 12 set season bests, we had three personal bests,” NW coach Stevens said. “I was really happy with our grouping. I think our No. 2 through 6 runner was like 1:06 apart. That really bodes well as you go through a season.
“Taryn way out there up front really helps us too. She ran a great race breaking that school record. She took the lead when she was ready to take the lead and probably held it the last half of the race. I was proud of her performance.”
Kate White led Maconaquah in 19th (20:54).
South Bend Adams won the 22-team invite with a score of 55. Taylor was incomplete. Cami Hansen was fifth in a time of 20:58 to lead the Titans. Paige Welsh was 42nd in 23:51, Ashley Nguyen was 94th in 28:58, and Kiley Williams was 101st in 30:44.
Lafayette Jeff won their own invite with a score of 321 at Battleground G.C., the site of regional action. Greenwood was second with 349, and Northwestern was third with a score of 355 in the 17-team invitational.
Ashton Martin shot 84 to lead the Tigers and take seventh overall. Alexis Hungate followed with 85 and finished 11th. Olivia McClure shot 88 and Karlie Shaw shot 98.
“We had a good tournament but we left a lot of shots out there,” NW coach Randy Lindgren said. “We’re capable of shooting in the 330s and hopefully by regional time we’ll be capable of shooting that score and get to state.”