After upsetting Greenwood for its first win of the season in the opening round of the Franklin girls soccer sectional Tuesday, Martinsville was out to slay an even larger giant in Thursday’s semifinal.
Center Grove wasn’t about to let that happen.
After being held at bay for the first 15 minutes of action, the Trojans broke through in a big way, cruising to a 6-0 victory.
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Center Grove (10-4-1) will play in Saturday’s sectional title match against Franklin, which topped Whiteland 2-0 in the other semifinal.
Martinsville netminder Abby Sisson put up a wall early, stopping several Center Grove opportunities before Kelli Hippenmeyer finally cracked the seal by punching home a loose ball off a rebound 15:30 into the match.
Megan Perry added a pair of goals and Braxton Gentry followed with another to give the Trojans a 4-0 cushion with just under 10 minutes to go before the break.
“If you get the (first) goal, then it puts them on their heels and gets us relaxing a little bit more and just do what we want to do.”
Kailee Joseph put the Trojans’ fifth goal in just 2:16 into the second half and added another in the final eight minutes. Katie Schier closed out the scoring for Center Grove with 41 seconds to go.
Goals were much tougher to come by in the day’s opening match. Neither Franklin (7-7-2) nor Whiteland found the net during the first half.
The Grizzly Cubs, though, needed less than three minutes to break into the scoring column in the second. Delanie Hill took a pass from Emilie Hill up the middle and pounded a goal in off the bottom of the crossbar.
“She always knows where I want the ball,” Delanie Hill said of her sister, “and I always know what run to make. We spend all of our time together, so we know everything about each other.”
Emilie Hill added an insurance tally with 13:04 remaining, putting a shot over the head of Whiteland keeper Jenny Gonzalez from about 25 yards out.
Whiteland coach Alyson Grande praised her team’s effort in defeat. The Warriors finish with an 8-8-1 record.
“Every team enters the tournament, and only one team ends a winner,” Grande said. “I’m just proud of the teamwork and the growth that we made this season.”