Madison’s Olivia Spencer (15) and Taylor Lynch (1) race down the field with Southwestern’s Isabel Brooks (18) and Susanne Bajraktari (10) in pursuit during Tuesday’s game in Madison. The Cubs won the game 3-2. (Photo by Stephanie Hellmann)
Madison’s Olivia Spencer (15) and Taylor Lynch (1) race down the field with Southwestern’s Isabel Brooks (18) and Susanne Bajraktari (10) in pursuit during Tuesday’s game in Madison. The Cubs won the game 3-2. (Photo by Stephanie Hellmann)
Southwestern and Madison joined together for Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness on Tuesday evening but when it came to battle on the soccer pitch the Lady Cubs enjoyed a first half lead and controlled the rest of the way, besting their Jefferson County rivals 3-2 in Madison.

Southwestern scored an early goal but Madison answered with three-straight to grab a comfortable advantage before slamming the door shut in the second half to roll to a victory.

“Coming together and finally putting one in the win column was a good thing,” Madison head coach Janet Hertz said. “Last couple games have been heartbreaking but it was good to solidify a win.”

The Lady Rebels struck first less than 15 minutes into the first half. Susanne Bajraktari sped past the Madison defense on a breakaway and scored a goal from distance for a 1-0 lead but that’s when Madison picked up the pace and controlled the rest of the first half.

Claire Bilz tied the game just one minute later off an assist from Kennedy Stidham then Stidham, who was celebrating her 18th birthday, gave herself a gift on an impressive corner kick that came off an assist by Harper Watson.

Madison’s final goal came at the 5:21 mark of the first half when Jordyn Bilz drifted to the right side of the field and put the Lady Cubs up 3-1.

“Sometimes for us it’s just getting those initial nerves settled,” Hertz said. “We came together as a team and showed that soccer is a team sport. We got past that initial goal Southwestern scored and then came together as a team to get those three goals.”

For Southwestern, the first half collapse after a 1-0 advantage was nothing more than just allowing its opponent to control the rest of the half and swaying momentum and possession time to their side.

“Madison obviously wanted the ball,” Southwestern head coach Nancy Totten said. “Every time they went for it, our girls just kind of stood and looked at the ball. Second half they realized that and our girls finally wanted the ball.”

Southwestern limited Madison to a shutout in the second half and was able to trim the deficit in half. At the 20:58 mark, Kearstin Cizek connected on a goal to bring the Lady Rebels to within 3-2 but was never able to capitalize the rest of the way.

Madison spent the final 20 minutes doing its best to milk time off the clock and succeeded, limiting Southwestern to just three shots on goal in the second half and playing keep away in the final three minutes to seal the deal.

Despite not being able to tie or take a lead, Totten said the team’s effort was a major improvement from allowing the three goals in the first half of play.

“Second half I was really proud of them,” Totten said. “I was really happy with the effort and was happy with seeing what the way they were capable of playing. It would have been nice to put something together at the end but we started getting tired. But still we were able to get a lot of girls in and use our depth as much as possible.”

Southwestern finished with 10 shots including eight on goal while Madison totaled 14 shots and eight on goal. The Lady Cubs held an advantage of 6-0 on corner kicks while goalie Abby Ferguson finished with six saves.

Madison (2-3-2) travels to Providence on Thursday and hosts Bedford North Lawrence on Saturday. Southwestern, now 2-4, visits Scottsburg on Thursday and hosts Rising Sun on Friday.

Denton gets hat trick in win

Carson Denton recorded a hat trick and Madison returned to its winning ways with a 4-1 win at Christian Academy in boys soccer Tuesday on the road.

In addition to Denton’s three goals, Haruki Iwai scored a goal, Adriano Martinez had two assists and Hugo Bravo had an assist. Overall, the Cubs held a 19-6 advantage in shots and 5-4 in corner kicks. Zach Forner had three saves in goal for Madison.

“The boys bounced back after a tough loss to Jeffersonville last Thursday. They came out with a ton of energy ready to get back to our winning ways,” Madison coach Kyle Bipes said. “We have some injuries to some key players so we have new guys playing in new spots. But those kids stepped up tonight and played extremely well.”

Madison, now 7-2 on the season, hosts South Dearborn on Thursday.