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Robertson scores game-winner for Cougars

September 09, 2009
A day after a tough battle with Bedford-North Lawrence, the North Harrison boys' soccer team put forth a winning effort against visiting Floyd Central last Wednesday. The game-winning goal in the 3-2 contest came in the final minutes off the right foot of Gabe Robertson.

Gabe Robertson (2) turns on a Floyd Central defender in the first half. Robertson scored the game-winning goal in the second half for the Cougars. Photo by Brian Smith
"Good effort by Gabe today, and it paid off when he got the game-winner," North Harrison coach Duane Boady said. "The only asterisk on tonight is we played their JV team, but, generally, they still come in here and beat us regardless. They are still a good team that passed well."

Floyd Central scored the opening goal midway through the second half, but it didn't take long for North Harrison to get on the board.

Hector Bautista evened the match with a goal in the 61st minute. Bautista, an exchange student from Spain, made a turn to get around a defender, then buried the goal.

Nine minutes later, North Harrison's Jarod Richards was put to the turf inside the penalty area. With the referee's whistle, the Cougars were awarded a penalty kick. Bautista took the kick and scored to put North Harrison up, 2-1.

"Hector provides some offense," Boady said. "He even played goalie against Jeffersonville. He is just a European soccer player that knows the game real well."

Floyd Central wasted no time getting back on the board, putting in a goal less than two minutes later.

North Harrison responded by pressing forward. With the added pressure on the Highlander defense, Cougar midfielder Robertson fired in the game-winner with three minutes to play.

"They didn't give up, that's for sure," Boady said. "The hard thing about playing two tough games back-to-back is our guys are tired and sore. Because of that, we were about two steps behind most of the game."

North Harrison's defense remained steady in the final three minutes and protected the win.

The teams played a scoreless first half. North Harrison controlled the game at the midfield and had a handful of opportunities at the net but couldn't bury a goal.

Defensively, North Harrison kept the Highlanders away from the goal for much of the first half. The Cougars' lone shot on goal came during a three-minute span inside the final 10 minutes of the half.

North Harrison has already surpassed its win total from last year, currently sitting at 4-2.

"Hector has provided the spark to our team this year," Boady said. "Taylor Starcer is our keeper. It is his first year in goal, and he is really starting to learn the game and is a great athlete."

The Cougars return to their home field tonight (Wednesday) to face Mid-Southern Conference-foe Corydon Central at 6.

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