Home > Boys soccer tournament: Avon seeks elusive state title | USA Today High School Sports

Boys soccer tournament: Avon seeks elusive state title | USA Today High School Sports

Chesterton's #11 Nate Dawson tries to keep the ball from Avon's #10 Carlos Mendez during the Chesterton at Avon boys varsity soccer match, Saturday, August 22, 2015. Avon won the match 3-2.

Chesterton’s #11 Nate Dawson tries to keep the ball from Avon’s #10 Carlos Mendez during the Chesterton at Avon boys varsity soccer match, Saturday, August 22, 2015. Avon won the match 3-2.

Success has become an expectation within the Avon soccer program. The Orioles have won seven consecutive sectional titles dating to 2008, and captured regional titles in four of those years.

But there’s one thing missing.

Despite reaching the state final game in 2013, they have yet to hoist the championship trophy.

This year, the Class 2A No. 5 Avon Orioles (12-2-3) hope to change that trend. But coach Phil Schmidt knows just how hard it can be.

“We’d love to get back there, but we know how difficult it is,” he said. “We know how special that was and how difficult it is to make that run.”

The Orioles enter the tournament having won three straight, and have not lost a game since mid-September. Avon has scored 51 goals this season. Senior Logan Hatter has been a nightmare for opposing teams, scoring 17 goals and tallying six assists. Hatter has scored at least two goals five times this season, including scoring all four goals in the team’s win over Guerin Catholic on Sept. 17.

“Logan helps us stay aggressive,” Schmidt said. “He’s so hungry to set that goal-scoring mindset. That can be contagious with his teammates.”

Avon will face the winner of Danville and Mooresville on Wednesday night. That goal of reaching the state title game again begins when the clock starts.

“The guys who were on the state runner-up team two years ago certainly know how fun it is to make a run in the state tournament,” he said. “Our younger players have heard the stories. But that said, you have to have a one game at a time mindset. A lot has to go right.”

Brebeuf Jesuit looking to avenge last year’s state title game loss

The No. 15 Braves (8-4-2) came close to claiming a state title last year, but their run came up just short as they fell 1-0 to Goshen.

“We felt that we could have and perhaps should’ve won that game,” Brebeuf coach Carlos Zavaleta said. “Now that we’ve been there and know what it’s like, we’ll be better prepared.”

Brebeuf has played four teams ranked in the top 20. Despite subpar results (0-3-1), Zavaleta thinks his team has learned from those contests.

“We’ve competed with them,” he said. “They haven’t dominated us. We made mistakes and they capitalized on them. We feel like when we face them again, our chances are much better.”

Brebeuf will face the winner of Pike and Indianapolis Northwest on Wednesday night in its sectional opener.

Greyhounds hoping defense wins championships

No. 6 Carmel (12-2-1) has allowed only 12 goals this season, and is hoping its defense can lead the way to a sixth sectional title in seven years.

“One thing we stress is it’s our forwards and midfielders job to get into the attack score the goals,” coach Shane Schmidt said. “If our defense can put a zero on the scoreboard for the opposing team, that’s as important, if not more important, than scoring.”

Senior Evan Shaw leads the Irish with nine goals scored.

Carmel faces Guerin Catholic in Wednesday’s opener.

Cathedral seniors looking for one more taste of postseason success

The No. 11 Fighting Irish (7-4-3) will compete for a fourth consecutive sectional title this week. The nine seniors will look to finish their career on a high note.

“With the possibility of it being their last game, hopefully it gives you some adrenaline, but hopefully it doesn’t lead to them doing something that doesn’t win you the game,” said coach Paul Schroeder. “Sometimes they get too pumped up.”

The Irish have scored two goals only four times this season, but have used strong defense to hold their own. Cathedral has shut out its opponent five times.

The Fighting Irish will face North Central on Wednesday night.

Covenant Christian looks to repeat as sectional champions

Class A No. 2 Covenant Christian (8-4-3) hopes its tough regular season schedule will lead to a deep postseason run. The Warriors have played Avon, Brebeuf and Cathedral, each ranked in the 2A top 20. Covenant tied Cathedral and lost by two to the Braves.

“There really hasn’t been a game on our schedule that we can take off,” coach Michael Johnson said. “We’ve had to have the mindset that every game, we have to show up and play. I’m hoping that will continue as we head into sectionals.”

Covenant opens sectional play against Monrovia on Wednesday.

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