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October 10, 2012

Something has to give in girls soccer regional

North faces Castle in tonight’s opening game

TERRE HAUTE — Terre Haute North High School’s girls soccer team has not been shut out in any game this season.

Its opponent today in the Class 2A Jasper Regional — Castle — blanked Boonville 8-0, Evansville North 1-0 and Washington 4-0 on its way to winning the Castle Sectional championship last week.

So something must give when these squads clash at 6 p.m. today.

The survivor will face the New Albany-Evansville Memorial winner for the regional title at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Evansville Memorial, which edged Castle 3-2 in the regular season, is ranked No. 5 in the latest Class 2A poll, so it’s probably the on-paper favorite to emerge triumphant Saturday.

But North coach Kyle Baker isn’t ready to concede to any of the Patriots’ potential regional foes.

“I think for the most part, all year, we’ve been a better team than some of our results have indicated,” he told the Tribune-Star. “At the end of the year, including the sectional, some of those results started falling our way. For the most part, we’ve been a pretty dangerous team to play. We’ve been been playing our best lately and we’re healthy, so we’re pretty excited about that.”

Baker mentioned that this year’s North team, which owns a 13-5 record, has allowest the fewest goals in school history. Senior Jaime McKee has been the goalkeeper, although she needed to make only one save in the Terre Haute South Sectional, where the Patriots knocked off Vincennes Lincoln 7-0 and the host Braves 1-0.

On offense, Nicole Mikolajczyk, Spencer Grim, Jordan Bray and Michaela Schuld lead the Pats with 11, eight, seven and seven goals respectively, while Grim has the most assists with 10.

Bloomington North was the only common opponent of Terre Haute North and Castle from the regular season. Baker’s Patriots beat Bloomington North 7-4 and Castle only tied the Cougars 2-2.

“They’ve floated around the top 20 all year,” Baker said of the Castle Knights. “We know they’re very good. Their only losses were to ranked teams. They’re a physical team that plays smart.

“The big thing for us is we have to be the aggressor on loose balls, 50/50 balls. If we challenge them on those balls, I feel pretty good about our chances.”

The other two Wabash Valley soccer teams still alive in the state tournament are from Sullivan in Class A.

Sullivan’s girls will face Evansville Mater Dei at noon Saturday in the South Knox Regional championship game.

The Golden Arrows emerged victorious from the Sullivan Sectional by dominating Pike Central 9-1, South Vermillion 7-0 and North Knox 5-0.

Also last week, Evansville Mater Dei outscored Evansville Day 5-0, Gibson Southern 2-0 and North Posey 4-0 to win the North Posey Sectional championship.

Meanwhile, Sullivan’s boys will take on Forest Park at 6 p.m. EDT Thursday in the Gibson Southern Regional semifinals.

Sullivan earned the North Knox Sectional title by downing North Knox 9-0 and South Knox 3-2 in overtime.

At the same time, Forest Park was capturing the Northeast Dubois Sectional crown by knocking off Shoals 7-1 and Washington Catholic 3-2.

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