On a high-powered
soccer team, it can be easy to overlook a good keeper, even a great one,
like Chesterton's Charlie Eaton.
“He's someone you
don't speak of much when you only see three, five shots in a game,” Trojans
coach Lucas Sabedra said after Eaton registered his fifth shutout in six
matches with the Trojans' 2-0 win over Munster on Saturday.
That said, the star
net-minder is going to be ready when called upon, as he was when he dove to
his right to smack away an Ethan Orange shot ticketed for the net in the
“As a team, we'd
rather not give up any shots, but I know when my number's called, I like to
come up big for these guys because they come up big for me a lot.”
and Orange were dangerous for Munster, but missed on some chances against
Eaton, who wasn't hevaily tested. Still, that security blanket is nice to
have in a tight match.
"He's someone you
don't speak of much when you only see three, five shots in a game, but some
of those saves are big-time," Sabedra said. "They had more shots on goal
As much as coming
up with big stops, Eaton enjoys the view in front of him, whether it was
Zack Bowser's 35-yard missile on a free kick in the first half to start the
scoring or Ryan O'Dell's fancy footwork through the Munster defense in the
second half to end it.
"From my spot, I
can watch the game and appreciate it rather than have to move," said Eaton,
who has yielded one tally on the season. ‘These two kids are absolutely
unbelievable up top and to watch them day in and day out, it's quite a
pleasure. The motto I've always lived by is you've got to bring your own
energy. If I'm talking, energetic the whole game, I'm not bored, I'm not
lazy back on the goal line, and it keeps me energetic to make some saves.”
The match was
scoreless when Bowser connected from long range into a tailwind at 18:12.
“I was just ready
for a big shot. Most of my goals this season have come inside the box so
far. I was waiting for one of those,” Bowser said. “You've just got to keep
your angle locked so it doesn't get away from you. Right away, I knew it was
going to have a great chance. It was a great feeling. We could relax a
little more and just knock the ball around, not force it.”
Sabedra called the
"That's just the
kind of player he is," he said. "Big-time players step up in big moments and
do big things. We put all of our confidence in all of our players on the
field, even the guys on the bench. When they go in, they're in for a reason.
We trust guys like Zack to take those free kicks. We practice them so we
know he's capable of putting it on target. It's not like it's a brand new
The score remained
1-0 after the break when O'Dell took the ball on the Munster side of
midfield and dodged three Mustangs like they were pylons to break clear for
an open shoot.
"It felt good to
finally score," he said. "I've been trying the whole season. I joke around
with my friends, telling them to feed me, I'm going to score. I've had a
The O'Dell name
carries a lot of weight in the Chesterton program. Jared and Derek O'Dell
both went on to play at IUPUI, setting the bar high for younger brother
Ryan, who quickly one-upped his siblings by winning a state championship
with the 2018 Trojans as a freshman.
"I grew up playing
with them," Ryan said. "It was fun to watch them. They helped me. They kind
of made me who I am. Like coach always tells me, I don't need to really
focus on having to live up to the name. As long as I'm trying out there,
two goals and four assists as a ninth-grader, he missed his sophomore season
with growing issues caused by Sever's disease, a painful heel injury in
children caused by swelling of the growth plate. He got his junior year off
to a roaring start with two goals in the opener but had gone four matches
without another score before striking at the end of the dazzling virtuoso
"He has those
moments where it's, oh my God, and that was one of those oh my God moments,
something you create out of nothing," Sabedra said. "Ryan is one of the best
players I've seen on turf. His one on one skills are so smooth. When Ryan's
confident, he's one of the best players I've seen. He and Liam (Grimes) have
been practicing with the varsity, knowing the system since they were
freshmen. We know what he's capable of on the field. We'll take those odds
of him going to the goal."
While O'Dell stops
short of rating himself next to his brothers, Bowser and Eaton remarked,
'save the best for last.'
"It was a great
run," Bowser said. "He beat like three kids, put a few kids on the floor. We
have so much creativity up top. It makes it so much easier. One guy isn't
getting pressured the whole game."
Ryan calls himself
similar to Derek in position and playing style, while Jared was more
"My first year
coaching JV, Jared might have been a senior," Sabedra said. "Derek was a
freshman, so I got to coach him on JV. I know the family so well. They're
all very different players. I could go on and on about each one. Derek was
more of an offensive player, whereas Jared was more distribution-type
player, with more field vision. Ryan has his own skill set. He's better at a
lot of things than the other two. Ryan plays quicker in tight spaces."
Prior to that,
Orange also had a brief look at an open goal at 6:45 of the second half,
only to have his one-timer off a Nnuro-Frimpong feed sail wide. Munster also
had a player inadvertently block a shot that would have put it on the board.
"Chesterton was the
best team in the area going into the season and they're maintaining it,"
coach Jim Prasopoulos said. They're a quick team, fast team, a disciplined
team. They did some really nice things to take it to us and we weren't
really on, even in dead ball situations. We were over-hitting it. We had a
couple point blank shots, a head ball at the end. It wasn't a good day to
come out and not play to our potential. Good teams will do things to you
sometimes that you maybe don't always react the best way to. What's going to
matter is if we grow from it, get better, learn from it, and maybe we get
another chance to see them again."
That would come in
a regional, should the teams make it that far.
"We knew preparing
the whole week this was going to be our biggest game yet," Sabedra said. "We
always have this chippy non-conference rivalry. We know we're always going
to get their best. It's been that way ever since I was in high school, the
kind of game where anything can happen, both ways. We had to take care of
business early. We knew what we wanted to do and, for the most part, we
executed it, but not completely. It's still relatively early in the year, so
it's good to come out and get the results."