Chesterton Tribune

Photo: Boys Soccer wins Sectional title 1-0 over Valpo

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Sectional Champs: The Chesterton boys soccer team won the IHSAA Wheeler Sectional on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over Valparaiso. It was the Trojans’ third title in the last four years. Pictured are, front row (l to r), Asst. Coach Randy Coudriet, John Morris, Brandon McCoy, Austin Haire, Mark Gore, Brandon Garvey, Cole Galloway, Victor Zumaram, Jordan Garza, Mavrick Tumblin, Mac Green and Ben Molnar. Second row (l to r) are Asst. Coach David Galloway, Head Coach Jamie Sensibaugh, Chris Robinson, Chris Noel, Tommy Biel, Ryan Grassel, Alec Houpt, Jacob Garmany, Joe Michalak, Ray Orlowski, Mike Brown, Evan Coudriet, Gabe Jeka, Eddie Berruezo, Mike Anderson, Asst. Coach Jon Christensen and Asst. Coach Jason Conway. (Tribune photo by Dana Gilbertson)



When Chesterton boys soccer coach Jamie Sensibaugh told his team they were only allowed to score on headers in the Sectional opener against Morgan Twp. late in the second half, he probably didn’t know the dividends it would pay.

After scoring four times against the Cherokees that way on Thursday, Austin Haire was able to head a ball past Valparaiso goalkeeper A.J. Ratajec with 12:29 to play on a pass from Ben Molnar to lift the Trojans to a Sectional title for the third time in four years.

“Austin’s been great in the air,” Sensibaugh said. “We’ve been working on getting the ball outside and outflanking the defense. We put a lot of guys in the box and try to get the crossing pass. It worked.”

Defense was the difference maker in the game led by Chesterton senior goalkeeper Alec Houpt. Houpt made 11 saves and picked up his seventh shutout of the season.

“Alec Houpt had an amazing game and made some huge stops to preserve this win,” Sensibaugh said.

Houpt was tested on several occasions by the Vikings, but was up to the task every time. With just under 30 minutes to play, Gerrard Akright hit a shot from 25 yards out on a restart that was headed inside the right post in the upper 90. The 6-foot-6 senior pushed the ball wide.

“It was a solid performance by the Trojans,” Sensibaugh said. “Mark Gore commanded the field and our entire defensive unit stayed tightly organized.”

The No. 9-ranked Vikings also tested the defense when Gore cleared a rebound near the goal just ahead of Akright’s shot. And in the final six minutes, the Vikings had a header from Ben Wallace and a shot on a restart by Max Van Houten that couldn’t find the net.

“We talked about taking advantage of our opportunities on throw-ins, set pieces and direct kicks while, at the same time, limiting Valpo’s,” Sensibaugh said. “We defended those situations very well today and that along with Houpt’s goalkeeping gave us the win against a very sound, offensive-minded Valpo team.”

Chesterton (13-3-1) will face off against Portage on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Valparaiso.

“This was a total team victory today,” Sensibaugh said. “Everyone performed their role to perfection. I’m extremely proud of our team.”

Chesterton 1, Valparaiso 0


Chesterton – Austin Haire 1 goal; Ben Molnar 1 assist; Alec Houpt 11 saves.

Valparaiso – Grant Reed 5 saves; A.J. Ratajec 0 saves.

Records – Chesterton 13-3-1, Valparaiso 12-3-3.




Posted 10/12/2009