The New Palestine boys soccer team found itself in a goalkeeping duel Thursday night against Greenfield-Central.
The Dragons eventually dropped the game 1-0 in a shootout, dropping the shootout by a 3-1 score.
NP senior Kyle Rodebeck made six saves in the 94 minutes of regulation and overtime – including a couple of spectacular stops on point-blank opportunities, stopping a Cougar attacker alone in the goalmouth in the first half, and then going post-to-post to deflect a shot after a far-post cross left an attacker in front of the net. The Dragon defense kept G-C’s forwards at bay, led by Scott Niehoff, Brandt Basaran and Kelson Pike. It was Rodebeck’s fourth shutout of the season.
The Dragons had a couple of strong chances late – Matt Ernster had a goalmouth header off a corner kick in the closing minutes of regulation saved by the G-C keeper, and another close-range shot in the second OT missed just wide.
“Congratulations to Greenfield-Central on a hard-fought game and coming up with the win,” NP coach Bobby Holden said. “Both teams played well. It was a hard-played 94 minutes of soccer that came down to penalty kicks. Outstanding game by Kyle Rodebeck in goal with several big saves to keep the shutout. The defense played really well, but unfortunately, we couldn’t capitalize on our many offensive chances throughout the match. We came up short during PKs and we will look to rebound and improve next week.”
The Dragons are now 7-3-1, and have only dropped one game in regulation. They are 2-2 in HHC play. The Dragons next play Tuesday against Center Grove and Thursday against Fishers, both at home with 5:30 JV/7 p.m. varsity kickoffs.
The game took place in front of a sizable crowd of NP students.
“Thanks to all who came out and supported the team,” Holden said. “It was a great night for DCMS players to see a good HHC game. It was also a great showing by the NPHS student body, who had many pledge to be drug and alcohol free during our 100 pizza giveaway from Mama Nita’s.”
The Dragons won the JV match 4-1.