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After opening the season with four straight losses, the North Hardin Lady Trojans had something go right for them Wednesday night.
With her team trailing by one, senior forward Dina Giron reached a through ball from sophomore midfielder Sydney Maxwell.
Giron slipped past the Meade County defense and drilled a shot just out of the reach of Lady Waves keeper Felicity Shirkey, lifting the Lady Trojans to a 1-1 tie at the Duane Klug Soccer Complex.
“I just caught up to it and shot with my left foot, which is crazy, but I figured a shot’s a shot,” Giron said of her first goal of the the season.
Giron scored with 12:08 left, eliciting loud cheers from North Hardin’s bench and its crowd.
The Lady Trojans needed something good to happen after starting the season off winless and held to one goal in the first four games.
“It was like, ‘finally, we finished.’ And that’s what we’ve been working on in practice,” North Hardin coach Tony Garrison said. “We know that that’s our weakness right now. We’re trying to build our defense first and we’ve got a defense that’s pretty solid, and now we’re pushing the ball up and we’ve been working with our mids to push the ball up through the gaps and let our speed run up on it.”
Giron said Maxwell placed the through ball just out of the reach of Meade County’s defense but not too far ahead that Giron couldn’t get to it.
“It was a great pass,” Giron said. “It was played perfectly. It went through the defenders and all I had to do was settle it and score.”
Giron’s goal came 16 minutes after senior striker Jaycee Serrano had given the Lady Waves (2-2) the lead after she accepted a cross from freshman midfielder Shelbie Williams and beat North Hardin senior keeper Bailey Blair to the near post.
Williams’ pass landed just in front of Serrano, allowing her to settle it before taking her shot.
“Shelbie had a beautiful ball that just made it easy for me to tap it right in,” Serrano said. “It couldn’t have been any better. It was a beautiful ball.”
Meade County coach Dan Shook called the play “textbook.”
“The cross, a nice little flick on it and the volley and she put it right in,” he said. “It was a very nice shot.”
But the shorthanded Lady Waves, who had only three reserves, couldn’t make it stand up.
North Hardin finally found a gap in Meade County’s defense and struck.
Even thought the game ended in a tie, Garrison called it a breakthrough for his team.
“We strung passes together, we weren’t just playing kickball, we had our heads up, we were tight taking the ball in the opposite direction, passing the ball forward and looking for our through balls,” he said. “And I think we possessed well. They pushed to the ball and tried to beat Meade County to the ball.
“We had plenty of chances tonight,” Garrison added. “We just have to finish better, and we’re going to keep working on that. I think we’ll get there.”
Both keepers were plenty busy.
Shirkey made nine saves, including one on a point-blank shot that kept North Hardin from tying it sooner.
“She did amazing,” Serrano said. “She’s only a freshman and she’s doing a wonderful job. She’s grown up a lot. She’s a lot better than we could have ever imagined, and we’re very pleased with her.”
Blair, meanwhile, saved six shots and had several others deflected away by her defense.
The Lady Trojans hoped to snap their 12-game losing streak, but couldn’t pull ahead.
“It’s a tie, but it’s perfect right now,” Giron said. “We’re going to work hard and we’re going to get better. We’ve got some things to work on, and we’ll get there eventually.”
UP NEXT: Meade County hosts Corydon (Ind.) Central at 7 p.m. Monday. North Hardin plays at Fort Knox at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Josh Claywell can be reached at 270-505-1752 or email@example.com.