It was just over a month ago that the Carmel boys soccer team had last played Lawrence North. In what turned out to be a one-sided affair, the Greyhounds dominated every aspect of the match.
As the two teams met again on Saturday, this time with a semi-state berth on the line, the resulting contest could be described in much the same way.
Evan Shaw’s second-half goal was all the Greyhounds would need to emerge victorious, winning a 1-0 contest in which the final score wasn’t fully indicative of what took place on the field for 80 minutes.
“It’s frustrating when the finished product doesn’t show what happened in the game,” said Carmel head coach Shane Schmidt. “Credit to Lawrence North for defending extremely well today.”
The win marks the first time in the last nine years that Carmel has advanced to the semi-state round of the state tournament. The last time was in 2006, when the Greyhounds finished the season with a perfect 23-0 record and a state title.
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Schmidt has seen his team improve in each of the subsequent rounds, and feels as if the squad has responded to the messages he starting giving early in the season.
“What we preached all year was about climbing that proverbial latter,” said Schmidt. “Each rung we go up, we work on different things and get better.”
The Greyhounds finished the regional round with no goals allowed in either of the two games they played, which put a smile on the face of their head coach after the game.
“Defensively is where we’ve improved the most,” said Schmidt. “Our spacing and communication is better, along with the individual defending. The team defending is where we would like it to be as well.”
In the first half alone, Carmel attempted nine shots on goal and held their opponents to zero.
The breakthrough would ultimately come during the middle of the second half when Sam Kramer won the ball in the middle of the field and spotted his teammate Tyler Majeski dashing down the left flank. Upon receiving the ball and taking a couple of touches toward goal, Majeski precisely picked out the run of Shaw, who would send the ball flying by the keeper.
“The outside back didn’t see me coming,” said Shaw. “I got by him and then Tyler Majeski played a great ball into me. It just worked out almost perfectly.”
Going forward, Evan Shaw believes his team knows how to handle tough situations and that it could be the key to their success.
“We know we’re going to have days like this,” said Shaw. “We’ve had them in a couple of our previous games, but we just have to remember to keep fighting and good things will happen for us.”