Central Hardin capitalizes on scoring opportunity in 1-0 victory over North Hardin

An early goal and constant offensive pressure from Central Hardin set the tone Tuesday for the second 17th District Boys Soccer Tournament semifinal game against North Hardin.

Just under six minutes in, Central Hardin’s Corbin Durrance found the back of the net for an early goal that would ultimately prove to be the only one the Bruins would need in the 1-0 shutout of the Trojans at Troy Wade Field at North Hardin High School.

“I was feeling really good,” Durrance said of scoring. “We were still playing cautiously after that goal to hold them off for the rest of the game.”

While cautious, Central Hardin kept applying offensive pressure resulting in some missed opportunities.

“It was good to get one early, but we should have got more,” Seth Luckett said. “Later in the game we missed a few chances that we tried to capitalize on.”

Those missed opportunities will be the focus of practice as the Bruins prepare for the district championship game Thursday against Elizabethtown, Central Hardin coach Jaymes Varela said.

“Ultimately, we have to capitalize on those easy ones,” he said. “It’s something to think about. It’s something to take away going into practice tomorrow and for the game on Thursday, that’s going to be huge because E’town’s not going to let us have that second chance. We’ll have to capitalize immediately.”

North Hardin coach Jim Stone didn’t disagree with Varela’s assessment.

“It could have been 3 or 4 to nothing,” he said. “We were outplayed tonight. They wanted it more, they passed the ball better than we did, and that’s the sign of a 14 senior team. We’re still fairly young, but they got the better of us tonight.”

Varela also credited the play of North Hardin and goalkeeper Thomas Keen for keeping the game close.

“Bottom line, all the boys out here played their hearts out,” he said. “Any rivalry, any district game is tough. It was well fought on both sides. All credit to North, they’re a great team with a great goalkeeper.”

Keen said his focus after the first goal was to give his team the best chance to even the odds, but it wasn’t in the cards.

“I knew we had to work to get the goal back, but we couldn’t get a shot off,” he said. “We just didn’t get any opportunities to score.”

Those opportunities, missed or otherwise, was the determining factor in the game.

“But that’s the thing about soccer, it only takes one,” Varela said.

North Hardin finished the season 6-7-2. They graduate four seniors, including Keen.

With the win, Central Hardin improves to 10-2-1 on the season and earned a berth to the 5th Region Tournament. They will face Elizabethtown at 7 p.m. Thursday for the 17th District championship. The game will be played at North Hardin.

Gina Clear can be reached at 270-505-1742 or gclear@thenewsenterprise.com.

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