Chesterton Tribune



Trojan soccer team wins twice to advance to State Finals

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Winning two games in any sport, at any level, on the same day, is a daunting task for any team.

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.

The Trojans 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.”

Chesterton beat 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 for (Harrison).

“That goal -- it didn’t end up being the game-winner, but in a lot of respects it might have been.”

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.

Hallas also 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 73rd minute.

"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.”

Trojans keeper 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.”

IHSAA Semistate


Chesterton 2, West Noble 0

Chesterton -- Derek O’Dell 1 goal; Kevin Jugovic 1 goal; Owen Hallas 2 assists; Ethan Conway 3 saves.

West Noble -- Brendan Reyes 4 saves.

Record: West Noble 21-2.

Chesterton 2, Harrison 1

Chesterton -- Phil Flores 1 goal; Owen Hallas 1 goal, 1 assist; Ethan Conway 0 saves.

Harrison -- Jakub Hall 1 goal; Calvin Waters 5 saves.

Records: Chesterton 16-3-2, Harrison 20-1-1.



Posted 10/24/2016




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