Chesterton Tribune



CHS Girls Soccer falls in Regional

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By CJ Peters

With its opposition in South Bend St. Joseph possessing a defense that had given up just six goals in its 17 matches, Chesterton’s attack was sure to face its stiffest test yet.

At Saturday’s Class 3A South Bend Adams Regional Championship, South Bend St. Joseph showed those stats weren’t a fluke, ending Chesterton’s season with a 2-0 win.

“They have a great defense, they’re a great team,” Chesterton senior forward Addy Joiner said. “They’re such a good unit and it’s so hard to break down. There are no gaps to really find and when we did find them, we were so excited to find them that we’d over-hit and wouldn’t be able to capitalize.”

It was the last game as a Chesterton Trojan for Joiner, who leaves the program as the career-record holder in goals.

“It took a long time for us to get our feet under us this year and it was just fun to see how everyone improved and grew,” Joiner said. “We’re all some of the most competitive kids in the Region and I don’t know what’s in the water in Chesterton, but I think Chesterton breeds some of the most competitive kids. I’m proud of all of us.”

Joiner, along with Nikki Groceman and Sydney Stott among other seniors, were vital to the Trojans’ success this season. Alaina South, who has been out with injury, is also a senior.

“Honestly at the end of last year, we wondered how we’d fill those holes (from graduation),” Chesterton coach Ben Forgey said. “There are just great kids coming through the program that wanna work. They look at these upperclassmen and say ‘hey, I’d like to be like that’.

“Girls last year wanted to be like Ashlee Bakaitis and these ones now wanna be like Joiner and Stott and then that just keeps churning from there. It’s a nice program to be a part of.”

Chesterton (15-5) put seven shots on goal but St. Joseph’s Hannah O’Connell was able to record her 15th clean sheet of the season.

For Forgey, the improvement from the first game until Saturday was immense.

“We returned a bunch of attacking players -- but not a lot defensively -- and integrating that into a whole team isn’t easy for the players but they worked at it,” Forgey said. “It would have been real easy to say ‘hey, we have these forwards and midfielders, but the defenders aren’t cutting it.’ It would have been real easy to get down on each other but they didn’t.

“They supported each other and wanted to work to get better. There’s a high standard here.”

Following a scoreless first half, South Bend St. Joseph (16-2) scored in the 48th minute on a Georgia Place rebound. Natalie Moore scored in the 69th minute.

“Defensively we were organized and they were frustrated and were subbing at every opportunity in the second half to slow the game down because they knew they had a real fight on their hands,” Forgey said. “We wanted to be smart defensively and we have the kids and work rate to do it. I think we just ran out of a steam a little bit in the second half.”

While Chesterton loses the likes of Joiner’s prolific goal-scoring and Stott’s playmaking, it potentially returns four players with at least seven goals led by sophomore Grace Bamber, who had 15. Three of its four defenders are also underclassmen as is goalie Carley Balas, who had eight saves in the championship.

“What I’m really pleased with is the kids that are willing to listen, grow and work,” Forgey said. “If the kids do that, the game is pretty simple. If they’re willing to get better and compete, we can do some big, great things.

“We certainly have talent and it was a nice little run we put together. Did we wanna win a couple more? Sure. But we can really be proud of ourselves.”

Chesterton defeated Crown Point 3-2 in overtime in the afternoon semifinal as Annalisa Hackett flicked in a game-winner in the 86th minute. Gina Geenen had a first-half goal.

“She’s worked her butt off,” Forgey said of Hackett. “She deserves the credit for that and deserves a moment like that. You hear the other names, but she’s one of our starting forwards and gives a good effort every single time she’s on the field -- whether it’s on the attacking or defending end.

“So, for her to find herself in that position and to take that touch and get it just right, I’m just really happy for her.”

IHSAA Regional Finals


South Bend St. Joseph 2, Chesterton 0

SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH -- Georgia Place goal; Natalie Moore goal; Hannah O’Connell 7 saves.

CHESTERTON -- Carley Balas 8 saves.

Records: South Bend St. Joseph 16-2, Chesterton 15-5.

IHSAA Regional Semifinals


Chesterton 3, Crown Point 2, OT

CHESTERTON -- Gina Geenen goal; Annalisa Hackett goal; Carley Balas 9 saves.

CROWN POINT -- Zoey Wells goal; Erin Harrison goal; Abbey Chidsey 2 assists; Grace Mumaugh 5 saves.

Records: Chesterton 15-4, Crown Point 13-5-1.


Posted 10/19/2020




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