The Chesterton boys soccer team has conquered adversity all season.
So when the Trojans lost another player to injury on Saturday night, the
experienced team went on like business as usual.
John Ward and Billy Biehl, in his first action since mid-September, scored
off set pieces and the Trojans didn’t miss a beat after losing David
Gutierrez to a broken leg midway through the first half as Chesterton won
its first sectional championship since 2010 with a 2-0 victory over Portage.
The team celebrated at Viking Arena in Valparaiso with the trophy before
heading to the hospital to visit with their senior teammate.
“It’s too bad for David that he couldn’t be here to take part in this,”
Chesterton coach Jamie Sensibaugh said as the Trojans posed for photographs.
“I’m going to the hospital and celebrating this win with him.”
The win gives Chesterton its sixth sectional title in school history and the
first since 2010.
The Trojans got on the board in the 51st minute when Jared O’Dell fired a
pass through the Portage defense off a set piece that found the foot of
Ward. The senior forward got enough on the ball to punch the shot past
Portage keeper Cody Simmons.
“We practiced set pieces throughout the offseason and all year long,”
Sensibaugh said. “I told the guys that set pieces are what win games in the
Biehl, who served as a decoy on O’Dell’s pass, took the next set piece and
aimed for the back corner post and gave the Trojans an insurance goal in the
74th minute. The junior hadn’t played since Sept. 16 after suffering
multiple facial fractures against Andrean. Biehl’s goal made up for a
point-blank miss in the first half that he kicked straight into the arms of
“I knew that I needed to get one after I missed that shot,” Biehl said. “I
picked it up in the second half; we all had to pick it up at that point.”
The Trojans (15-2-1) dominated possession for much of the evening and the
Portage offense never threatened Chesterton keeper Caleb Gmyrek. The senior
recorded his 11th shutout of the season and is just one off tying the
single-season mark for shutouts.
“I’d be incredibly happy if I could get that record,” Gmyrek said. “All the
credit has to go to the defense that was in front of me. We stayed focused
and we played the second half for David.”