Winning two games
in any sport, at any level, on the same day, is a daunting task for any
Add in the
exhausting nature of soccer, the pressure of a potential state title match
bid and two high-caliber opponents, and what Chesterton did on Saturday can
be counted as nearly miraculous.
defeated one-loss West Noble and undefeated Harrison to earn the Class 2A
South Bend Semistate title.
“We train and
practice hard, for this very reason,” Chesterton coach James Sensibaugh
said. “When we have moments like this -- we’ve been in deeper, darker places
in practice. You’ve just got to suck it up.
“They know. I don’t
even have to say anything to them. They know.”
top-ranked Harrison 2-1 to earn the title, securing a place in the state
championship match next Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Carroll Stadium on the
campus of IUPUI against Evansville Memorial.
In Saturday night’s
championship match, the Trojans stunned 20-win Harrison with a goal in the
first minute. Owen Hallas laid a cross along the face of the goal that found
its way to Phil Flores, who settled the ball and buried it.
"All the credit
goes to my teammates,” Flores said. “Part of our problem is we always kind
of start the game laid-back. Coach said sometimes you need to just come out
swinging. That’s what we tried to do.”
Sensibaugh felt the
early tally shifted the momentum heavily in the favor of the Trojans.
“I think that was a
huge goal in many ways,” Sensibaugh said. “Mentally, physically, emotionally
“That goal -- it
didn’t end up being the game-winner, but in a lot of respects it might have
Hallas added an
unassisted goal two and a half minutes into the second half, which did prove
to be the game-winner on the scoreboard. Harrison tallied its lone score on
a penalty kick by Jakub Hall less than a minute after Hallas scored.
assisted both of Chesterton’s goals in the 2-0 semifinal win over West
Noble. He helped Derek O’Dell in the 19th minute and Kevin Jugovic in the
"It’s great to have
two assists,” Hallas said after the opener. “It really doesn’t matter who is
putting the ball in the net as long as someone is getting it in the net.
“This is a team.
We’re all pulling for each other. We’re all brothers. We just want to come
out on top.”
Ethan Conway made three saves in the shutout. He did not face any shots on
goal aside from the penalty kick in the second match.
Hallas injured his
left wrist in a collision in the first match, and played the nightcap
wearing a splint. As of the conclusion of Saturday’s action, the extent of
the injury was yet unknown. He is expected, however, to be in the lineup for
Chesterton (16-3-2) in the state title match.
“It’s just kind of
tender right now,” Sensibaugh said. “We won’t know anything until we get
X-rays on it. He’ll be OK. I don’t think it’s going to be anything that
keeps him from playing.”
AT SOUTH BEND ST.
Chesterton 2, West
Chesterton -- Derek
O’Dell 1 goal; Kevin Jugovic 1 goal; Owen Hallas 2 assists; Ethan Conway 3
West Noble --
Brendan Reyes 4 saves.
Record: West Noble
Chesterton -- Phil
Flores 1 goal; Owen Hallas 1 goal, 1 assist; Ethan Conway 0 saves.
Harrison -- Jakub
Hall 1 goal; Calvin Waters 5 saves.
16-3-2, Harrison 20-1-1.