It had been 312 days since that game.
Three hundred and twelve days since Columbus North beat Center Grove in last season’s Class 3A semifinal. Almost a year since the heartbreaking defeat of the Trojans in penalties.
It’s been even longer since the Trojans won a victory over the Bull Dogs – 1,040 days, to be exact. Monday night’s 4-1 win ended that drought.
The Trojans managed to put pressure on the Bull Dogs early on, keeping the ball in North’s bottom third for the majority of the first seven minutes. Sophomore Brooklyn Brown captivated that pressure, finding the back of the net with an assist from Ella DeWitt.
Center Grove had another chance when Taylor Wert was fouled just outside the penalty area, putting the ball at the feet of Molly Tapak for a free kick. Tapak’s shot hit the crossbar, however.
Wert then found Madi Kramer open in the box for an easy goal that found the center of the net, pushing the Trojans to a 2-0 lead with 17 minutes left and a first-half substitution.
The Bull Dogs managed to bounce back two minutes later when Lauren Barker ran past the Trojans back line, firing her shot just out of reach of Center Grove goaltender Sophia Gorall.
North’s momentum was halted, however, by a cross from Emily Karr to DeWitt, who put the ball just past Mallory Gilley to help the Trojans regain their two-goal lead.
Gilley didn’t seem phased by the three goals allowed in the first half, stopping two superb balls at the start of the second half. But after those great saves, Wert came back and found the far left corner for the final goal of the game.
Columbus North coach David Young compares this team to the team that lost 4-1 to the Trojans three years ago.
“It’s kind of like three years ago,” Young said. “It’s a young group, so we have to take it day by day, practice by practice, and assess what we did right and what we did wrong. Ultimately, get better with every game.
Picking up his second win with the Trojans, first-year coach Myron Vaughn isn’t too sentimental about the win even though it’s the first win over the Bull Dogs in nearly 3 years.
“Right now that means we’re 2-0,” Vaughn said. “Right now that means we have two results in hand and two good performances. That’s about all it really means. … We take every game and every performance for what it is. And right now we are playing well. But ultimately, our ultimate goal is far away. And these are all steps and building blocks towards what we want.