BROWNSBURG--North Putnam girls soccer program made progress this season. Just ask Tri-West coach Jeff Sloan.
No, the Cougars weren't able to pull off a major upset in the opening round of Sectional 22, losing 7-0 to the Bruins at Brownsburg.
But they did impress Sloan, whose veteran team improved to 13-2-2 in advancing to Thursday's second round against Brownsburg.
"We played North Putnam earlier in the season and kind of had our way with them," Sloan said. "They've definitely improved. The score is not indicative of how hard they pushed us."
Sloan had wanted North Putnam to give Tri-West a battle to prepare for the rigors of further post-season play and the Cougars delivered.
"We played a good range and we're a team that controls the ball," Sloan said. "We're pleased with how North Putnam challenged us. We appreciate that. We wanted to be pressured by North Putnam and they did a great job."
North Putnam coach Willie Gaskins was proud of his team.
"We played with our hearts and we left it on the field," Gaskins said. "I'm very pleased with how we played. They're a very good team and they have a tough defense. Our defense was top notch. We used our fundamentals as we could."
The Cougars (4-12-1) were forced by Tri-West's ball-handling skills and quickness to play defense most of the game. They had only one shot on goal, which came in the first half.
"We had plenty of good plays on their side of the field, but it never developed into anything," Gaskins said.
Tri-West had the edge in experience, too, with nine seniors, and depth.
"We're had the same group of starters for three years," Sloan said. "We have 19 players and I don't hesitate to play all of them."
North Putnam had only three seniors. Jessica Roseman, Leah Crosby and Kathryne Williams played in their final match for the Cougars.
North Putnam had six juniors, three sophomores and three freshman on varsity this season. It was a learning year for the Cougars and they'll put it to good use in 2009.
Girls' Soccer Sectional #22
|Tri-West||3 4 -- 7|
|North Putnam||0 0 -- 0|
TW--K. Bennett at 36:27
TW--K. Bennett at 27:25
TW--Shaw at 4:15
TW--M. Bennett at 24:29
TW--Koelling at 14:50
TW--Graphman at 6:35
TW--K. Bennett at 1:44
Shots on goal: TW--19, NP 1.
North Putnam ends its season 4-12-1