By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
The Lady Indians needed a spark.
They got it, but from an unlikely source.
After Madison Southern’s Rachel Ramey scored with 12 minutes left before halftime, Madison Central took control.
The Lady Indians (9-1-1) scored three times in the final six minutes of the first half and went on to pick up a 4-1 win over the district rival Lady Eagles (3-8-2) in Richmond.
Leeanne Ogle scored twice, while Ellie Wright and Dani Parsley also scored for the Lady Indians.
With the win, Central sweeps all three regular-season district games and locks up the top seed in the 44th District Tournament.
“They out-hustled us for the majority of the first half. They out-played us. There’s no doubt about it,” Central coach Chris Dunham, said. “When we got our first goal, it kind of hit them the wrong way. When we got our second goal, you can see they got deflated. That changed the entire game.”
Southern had almost all the momentum early.
Mikki Clark got a good scoring chance in the opening minute and the Lady Eagles controlled play for most of the half.
Ramey gave them a 1-0 lead with 12:09 left when she came open in front and found the back of the net.
That lead held up for seven minutes.
Ogle took a cross from Abby Helwig and tied the game with 5:05 left before halftime. Parsley scored on a long free kick just two and half minutes later and Ogle scored with 15 seconds left in the half. The senior striker settled down a bouncing ball and ripped it past Southern keeper Kristyn Murphy.
“She’s improving. She’s come a long way from her freshman year,” Dunham said of Ogle. “I expect more goals out of her and Maryssa Stewart. It’s good to see our seniors come through.”
Central dominated possession for most of the second half, but wasn’t able to find the net again until late in the game.
The Lady Indians were awarded a free kick at the top of the box and Wright found the top left corner of the net.
“Nice and easy,” Dunham said. “It was a sweet goal.”
Stewart and Ogle had several other scoring chances, but couldn’t bury them. Still, for a team that has a little difficult finishing in recent weeks, the offensive output was encouraging.
“We came out and played a much better second half,” Dunham said. “We played to our feet and had much better possession. It all worked out.”
Mayce Dennis earned her third-straight win in goal for Central.
The Lady Indians are set to return to action Saturday at Western Hills.
Southern is set to return to action Tuesday at home against North Laurel.