For the fourth-straight year, long-time rivals Madison Central and Madison Southern will meet in the championship game of the district tournament.
The Lady Indians (11-5) set up another showdown with the Lady Eagles with a 3-0 win over Model on Tuesday in the semifinals at Madison Southern.
On Monday, the Lady Eagles defeated Berea Community in the other 44th District Tournament semifinal.
The championship game is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at Madison Southern.
Madison Central was a little sluggish early against Model. But Emily Willoughby scored twice late in the first half, providing the Lady Indians the spark they needed.
Anna Parsley added a goal in the second half as the Lady Indians won their fourth-straight game.
“We changed the formation a little bit and talked about keeping it simple,” Central coach Chris Dunham said. “Just keeping the ball moving. Using the space that they were giving us and spread the field out. That definitely changed things around. We control the ball a lot better in the second half.”
Model keeper Hayley Hunt was under pressure all game and came up with plenty of big stops.
Willoughby finally got a shot past the senior with 18:43 left in the first half. She raced up the left side and ripped a shot high into the top farside corner.
Just 92 seconds later, Willoughby once again found space on the left side and slid a shot past Hunt.
“The corner down there was open quite a bit, so I just told her to get at it,” Dunham said of Willoughby. “She had some good shots and it was good to see her put some away.”
Hunt kept the Lady Patriots (10-7-1) in the game into the second half.
She made big stops on Willoughby and Olivia Swafford before Parsley headed in a shot from in front with 21:31 left in the game.
“She makes it tough,” Dunham said of Hunt. “She’s tough back there. You’ve got to find the corners. She’s not the kind of keeper who is going to make mistakes if you hit it right her. If you don’t find the corners, she’s going to stop it.”
Model had just a handful of scoring chances and didn’t force Central keeper Dani Parsley to make any difficult saves.
“We didn’t pressure the ball like we should have,” Model coach Michael Bailey said. “If you give a team with that kind of ability that kind of space, they are going to control things.”
Southern beat Central in the district title game in 2011, 2-1.
The Lady Indians have claimed the championship in each of the past two years — 1-0 wins over the Lady Eagles both times, including a shootout win in 2012.
When the teams met earlier this season, Southern won in a shootout.
“I don’t expect anything different. I just hope it doesn’t go to PKs,” Dunham said. “I’m done with PKs though. So, lets see if we can find a winner before time is up.”