Rally falls short for North girls

EVANSVILLE — Despite giving up a pair of goals in the 15th minute Saturday morning, the Columbus North girls had the momentum going into the second half of its Evansville Harrison Semistate semifinal.

The Class 2A No. 20 Bull Dogs took advantage of an own goal with 4.1 seconds left in the half to cut the lead to 2-1 and looked to tie defending state champion Brebeuf Jesuit early in the second half. But the 2A No. 4 Braves netted two more goals to claim a 4-1 victory.

“We came out pretty strong the second half, and we just kept pounding away,” North coach Derek Stewart said. “They’re a very good team, and they found some seams and took advantage of them.”

The Bull Dogs (13-3-4) had the better of the play the game’s first 10 minutes. But then in the 15th minute, North keeper Liz Tynan stopped a shot by Emma Mazurek, only to see Paige Edens collect the rebound and put in in an open net.

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Forty-seven seconds later, Brebeuf scored again in similar fashion. Tynan stopped a shot by Brianne Arthur, but the ball bounced to Gracie Medcalfe, who put it away for a 2-0 advantage.

It looked like the score would stay that way until haftime, especially after a ball went scurrying past North’s endline with 15 seconds remaining. But Addy Lang chased down the ball on the track, set up for a corner kick and launched one toward the goal. The ball bounced off a Braves player and past keeper Lauren Turner with 4.1 seconds left.

“I hit it from the corner and curved it,” Lang said. “We didn’t really have much time, and I was over there, so I thought I’d just put one in to give us a chance.”

Brebeuf added a goal from Hallie Pearson in the 56th minute to take a 3-1 lead. Alia Martin’s tally in the 62nd minute essentially put the game away.

“We were playing really well as a team,” North senior defender Emma Wilson said. “We all had the energy. Unfortunately, just a couple slipped by. They were unfortunate goals, just really good shots, and nothing we could do about those.”

The Braves outshot the Bull Dogs 18-6. Brebeuf put 10 shots on goal to North’s five.

Tynan finished with six saves.

“We had spurts of some really nice play and some momentum going our way,” Stewart said. “We just couldn’t sustain that for the full game, and they took advantage of that. But I’m really proud of the girls and the way they played.”

The Bull Dogs were playing in the semistate for the first time since 2011. The won the North Sectional and East Central Regional.

Lang, who finished with a team-high 26 goals, is among 10 seniors the Bull Dogs will be losing.

“We had an awesome season,” Lang said. “Our team is awesome. We had lots of fun together, and we had a really good fight.”

Wilson agreed.

“It was an absolutely fantastic season,” Wilson said. “I’m really proud of all the underclassmen that stepped up with us seniors. They were so supportive, and we really became a team this year and figured out how to work together and play together. Everybody stepped up to their role; everybody was very versatile, and we had some amazing coaches to help us grow along the way.”