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The booms heard near the Columbus Regional Airport on Wednesday evening didn’t come from jets flying overhead but from the foot of Columbus North’s Riley Perry.
The strong-legged junior bombed in a pair of deep free kicks at the Richard Wigh Soccer Complex to help the Bull Dogs defeat Perry Meridian 3-0. Riley Perry also registered a long- distance assist and played a solid defender position as North moved to the top of Conference Indiana standings.
After the hosts misfired on several shot attempts throughout the first half, it appeared that both teams would head into intermission scoreless until Riley Perry got the opportunity to make something happen with 1:15 remaining.
From approximately 35 yards out, she launched a kick that dropped just behind the outstretched arms of the Falcons’ goalkeeper.
Riley Perry repeated the feat less than eight minutes into the second half, this time a few yards closer, but with a bit more power. She almost netted a bomb moments earlier, only to have it slam just inches above the top of the goal.
“When we’re in that situation with a free kick from that far out, she’s who we go to,” North coach Derek Stewart said. “She’s pretty accurate from that distance.”
Riley Perry wasn’t finished. Minutes later, she set up from nearly 75 yards out, this time booting the ball over the top of the defense and in front of teammate Lauren Britt, who sliced a shot in with 17:36 remaining.
The Falcons, meanwhile, never could mount much of an offensive attack as they were thwarted by North’s stout defense. Bull Dogs goal keeper Charlotte Verbanic managed to stay clean most of the evening, finishing with a pair of saves.
“This was a nice win for us,” said Stewart, whose crew improves to 8-2 overall and 4-0 in Conference Indiana. “We started out a little slow but adapted and came out OK.”
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