Chesterton Tribune

 

 

CHS Boys Soccer secures state berth behind wild comeback

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By CJ Peters

The postseason is a whole other animal.

While cliche, it couldn’t have rung more true for Chesterton in its matchup with an inspired Fishers team at Saturday’s Class 3A South Bend St. Joseph Semistate as the Trojans saw themselves down two goals with six minutes to go.

“That’s soccer man, that’s postseason soccer, if you’re out in one game, anything can happen,” Sabedra said. “In high school soccer, when you’re up against a senior-heavy team, odds are against you, too, because those kids are gonna rally and they did. They were at us at all times and pressured us like we hadn’t been pressured before, a physical team.”

“When we went to state in 2017, we had a bunch of athletic kids that just grinded. That’s exactly how (Fishers) was.”

In scoring two goals in the final six minutes, including Zack Bowser’s penalty-kick goal with eight seconds to go, Chesterton eventually found itself in a penalty-kick shootout -- again.

As each team went 5-for-5 in the first set of PKs, the game became ‘next goal’ wins and after Chesterton keeper Charlie Eaton turned away Quinn Manford, it was Eaton again with a chance to send his team to the next round.

And just as he did against Crown Point in the Sectional title game -- Eaton delivered-- sending the Trojans back to the State Finals for the second time in three years.

No. 3 Chesterton (21-2) will play No. 6 Castle (17-2-1) on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Fishers High School.

“That’s grit, that’s heart, that’s just never giving up,” Sabedra said of the comeback. “That’s not the first time we’ve been in that situation -- we trailed Northridge 3-1 in the regional final in 2019, and we learned lessons from guys like that and those teams. You just cannot stop -- that’s as simple as it is -- you can’t stop. In the game of soccer you can’t give up and it all comes down to seconds sometimes -- eight seconds in this case.

“And you gotta have faith in Charlie Eaton.”

Eaton had seven saves for the Trojans, perhaps none bigger than his two in the 58th minute where he stopped Noah Rhinehart’s PK and the ensuing rebound.

“It’s deja vu from sectionals, deja vu from two years ago, it’s crazy,” Eaton said. “I saw us rallying back and when they got that PK, I knew I had to save it. I felt like that gave us some momentum.

“It’s a dream come true for sure, the fact I’ve been able to score once is a goalkeeper’s dream, but to do it again. It’s quite crazy right now and I’m obviously on cloud nine, but we’re going to the state championship.”

Perhaps the unsung hero of Saturday’s match was junior Liam Grimes, who scored a rebound goal in the 64th minute and drew the penalty that led to Bowser’s game-tying PK. David Jugovic’s goal in the 74th minute had cut the Fishers (12-7-1) lead in half.

“I saw the ball pop out so I went over there and then hoped someone would come near me so I could fall over,” Grimes said. “I did flop, but I was lucky it looked like a foul and I screamed a little, too. I think it was a foul because he did come in hard and I think if he stood me up then it might not have been.

“There’s always a little sell-job.”

After having seen Josh Wadowski stretchered off the field due to injury, Grimes’ play became that much more inspired. Wadowski was seen running around and in good spirits post-game.

“The last 15-20 minutes I was disappointed, it was a shame,” Grimes said. “I thought about Josh who’s been my friend my whole life and said we were gonna do this for him, there was complete faith. I worked my (butt) off the whole day and kept grinding.

“I know it’s a simple (lesson), but hard work pays off. You go to practice every day, work and train hard and train how you like to play. That’s how soccer is, you just keep working, and that’s all I tried to do.”

Sabedra and Eaton both had high praise for the junior with Sabedra calling it probably the best game he’s seen Grimes play all year.

“He was everywhere we needed him to be, he did all the right things, like that moment going for the ball and getting taken out,” Sabedra said. “Everything he did (Saturday) was for the team and he put us on his back at moments.”

Eaton added it was some brilliance from Grimes.

“He left his heart out on that field and for a junior that was on the team in 2018, that’s all you can ask for, that’s leadership right there,” Eaton. “You have to be resilient and obstacles are gonna be thrown at you, but it’s how you respond and I think this is a group of guys that responds better than anyone. We’ve been down many times this season and rallied back to win the game and that just shows the experience, leadership and resilience we have on this team.”

Castle stands in between a second title in three years for Chesterton. The Knights have scored close to five goals a game, spearheaded by Jackson Mitchell’s 32 goals and 16 assists.

“We’re gonna have our hands full (Saturday) with Castle, you don’t get to the state championship by accident,” Eaton said. “We’ll dissect the film Monday, get on the field Tuesday and get to work and figure out what we have to do so we can win.”

Class 3A Semistate

AT SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH

Chesterton 3, Fishers 3 (Chesterton wins 6-5 in penalty kicks)

CHESTERTON -- Liam Grimes goal; David Jugovic goal; Zack Bowser goal; Nick Biel assist; Ryan O’Dell assist; Charlie Eaton 7 saves.

FISHERS -- Keiji Nakamae goal, assist; Noah Rhinehart goal, assist; Sam Hevesy goal; Nicholas Rambo 3 saves; Tyler March 4 saves.

Records: Chesterton 20-2; Fishers 12-7-1.

 

Posted 10/26/2020

 
 
 
 

 

 

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