Carmel boys soccer coach Shane Schmidt has been preaching a simple – yet effective – message to his team this season: If you don’t allow any goals, you’re not going to lose.
The Greyhounds have taken their coach’s message to heart.
Greyhounds’ senior forward Charles Price scored a pair goals on Thursday night, and Carmel (15-2-1) rode its defense to a 2-0 win against Brebeuf Jesuit in a regional semifinal game at North Central.
Through 18 games, Carmel (15-2-1) has allowed just 16 goals and posted five shutouts.
“I grew up as a defender, so it’s near and dear to my heart,” Schmidt said. “We talk a lot about team defense. If there’s a zero on the scoreboard, then you did your job. That’s just as important as a forward scoring a goal.”
The sixth-ranked Greyhounds advance to the regional finals at 2 p.m. Saturday against Lawrence North. The Wildcats advanced with a 2-1 win over Brownsburg in the other regional semifinal on a late goal from senior midfielder Daryus Lake.
Carmel will play for its first regional title since 2006; the same year the Greyhounds won their only state title. Lawrence North won its only regional title in 2001.
No. 18 Brebeuf, last year’s state runner-up, finishes 10-6-2.
Carmel dominated time of possession early in the game and didn’t even allow the Braves a shot on goal during the first 20 minutes.
“Their pressure took away some of our poise,” Brebeuf coach Carlos Zavaleta said. “If we don’t possess the ball, we can’t play well. It forced us to dump the ball long.”
Carmel misfired on a penalty kick early in the first half, but Price connected just 2 minutes later to give Carmel a 1-0 lead with 31:47 to play.
Brebeuf came close to tying it early in the second half, but senior midfielder Naim Johnson’s shot hit the right bar and bounced away.
“We started to play well and move the ball,” Zavaleta said. “(The missed shot) would have given us a shot of energy we needed.”
The Greyhounds’ defense didn’t allow the Braves any other serious scoring attempts. Price’s second goal with 16:10 to play in the game – a header into the left corner of the net – all but iced the game.
“He came in and did a fantastic job,” Schmidt said of Price. “My hat’s off to him for a great performance.
“I’m proud of all their efforts,” he added. “Everyone steps us, accepts their role and enjoys their role.”
Senior midfielder Andreas Roslender and senior defender Jonathan Faas recorded assists.
Lawrence North advances
The Wildcats (8-4-6) are enjoying the ride they’ve been on this season, and they didn’t disappoint Thursday.
Tied 1-1, Lake made a nice move to speed past the Brownsburg (10-6-3) defense and score the winner with 14:01 to play.
“It was a great move,” Lawrence North coach Nick Noel said. “He saw an opening, and once he gets going he’s hard for the other team to keep up with.”
Junior midfielder Alan Kahlenbeck scored Lawrence North’s other goal, while senior Tyler Margetts scored for the Bulldogs, who had two chances to take a lead in the second half but had shots bounce off the post.
“It was a matter of inches,” Noel said. “The soccer gods were smiling down on us.”
“Our kids worked so hard for this,” he added. “They came close last year and have been committed to taking the program to the next level.”
The Wildcats lost to the Greyhounds 2-0 on Sept. 8.