Madison girls soccer shook off a sluggish start to post a 4-1 Hoosier Hills Conference win at Jeffersonville on Thursday.

"Jeff really wanted to beat us and they were quicker than us to every ball," said Madison coach Darren Harmon.

Four minutes into the game the Cubs found themselves trailing 1-0 when Jeffersonville's Devan Carrier was awarded and made good on a penalty kick.

"I'm not sure I agreed with the call, but it is what it is," Harmon said. "Cub keeper Tess Lemen made a great attempt to stop the free shot, but the ball just deflected off of her gloves."

Three minutes later the Cubs found themselves facing yet another penalty kick when the Madison was charged with pushing in the box. However, this time the kick went just wide and bounced off the post.

Madison finally broke through at the 27:21 mark when first year player Gabby Nay, a senior, knotted the score 1-1 on a corner kick from Alex Thurnall that bounced around several players.

"Gabby's aggressive play put her in the perfect spot for the 10-foot chip-in shot," Harmon said. "Gabby has worked so hard this year, and it's hard to believe she has never played before. We moved her up from her normal defensive position for this game to utilize her speed in the middle. The coaches were all hoping she would get the opportunity to take a shot but weren't counting on it. I'm not sure who was more surprised when she scored, the coaches or Nay."

Then with 10 minutes left in the first half the Cubs were charged with a third penalty in the box giving Jeffersonville its third penalty kick on the night. The shot was almost a carbon copy of the second PK with the ball deflecting off the side post and Madison taking over.

"It's rare for our team to have three penalties in a game, but to have three in the first half alone?" Harmon noted. "The score could have easily been 3-1 at the half. We got lucky."

The Cubs regrouped at halftime and came out showing speed and control in the second period.

"At the half (coach) Roger (Williams) told the girls they had to be quicker to the ball," Harmon said. "We were going to use our speed and focus on through balls."

Harmon also told the team he wanted four to five players attacking the goal every time Madison pushed it up and that's just what the Cubs did.

Madison attacked all over the field and got at least a half-dozen shots in the first 10 minutes and the withering attack finally paid off at the 31:53 mark when Madison's most prolific combination of Delanie Jones and Alex Thurnall made it 2-1.

Jones kicked a perfect cross pass to Thurnall who was coming down the wing and Thurnall placed a shot in the corner where the Jeff keeper had no chance of stopping it.

"I've said it before; these two just know where the other one is going to be and they play so well together," Harmon said.

Two minutes later Madison took a 3-1 lead when senior Sydney Studebaker directed in a corner kick by Thurnall for her first goal of the season.

"Sydney always plays defense for us and doesn't get too many scoring opportunities," Harmon said. "We were setting up for a corner kick and Jeffersonville had no one in the middle of the field at the arc. Alex was kicking the corner kick and I knew where the ball was going. I told Syd to move into the space. Alex's shot was deflected and ended up right where Studebaker was standing. She quickly settled it and sent a rocket to the top of the goal just out of the reach of the Lady Devils' goalie."

Madison put the game on ice with 8:52 left when freshman Catherine Fisher recorded a close range goal on a deflection from teammate Meredith Owens to lead 4-1.

"I actually thought Meredith was going to get the goal, but she couldn't get her angle and the shot was deflected out. Catherine did her job and followed the ball to the goal and was there to capitalize," Harmon said.

Madison keeper Lemen and the defense played strong the entire game, but picked it up in the second half to give Jeffersonville very few scoring opportunities. Jeffersonville managed just 14 shots in the game compared to Madison's 25 and Lemen ended the night with 13 saves.

Madison, now 5-5-2, visits New Albany on Monday and crosstown rival Southwestern on Wednesday. The Cubs will close out the week on Thursday by hosting Rising Sun on senior night.