While winning Wednesday’s sectional opener was the first goal for Chesterton
coach Jamie Sensibaugh, coming out of the match healthy was a close second.
Field conditions played havoc with both teams at Valparaiso’s Viking Field
as the Trojans opened postseason play with an easy 6-0 victory over Hobart.
Trent Weller and Nate Needham paced Chesterton with two goals each and the
Trojans will face Portage for the sectional title on Saturday evening at 5
“One of the things we talked about going in was the field and how that would
affect the game,” Sensibaugh said. “There are some things we can get away
with on our turf field which is different here.”
The field, which is used for football as well as soccer, was muddy in
several places, causing the ball to take uncharacteristic hops. Weller
scored two goals in the first 14 minutes of the match and the Trojans held a
4-0 halftime lead. Once the teams switched sides for the second half,
Chesterton’s offense slowed due to the rough field conditions.
“The worry with me was someone getting hurt,” Sensibaugh said. “We got up
2-0, and that is by no means the match, but we subbed some guys out at that
Chesterton senior keeper Caleb Gmyrek notched his 10th shutout of the season
and is just two away from tying the single-season mark.
Needham scored Chesterton’s third goal and then added another tally late in
the match. The sophomore wore a big smile after getting a victory at Viking
“The last time I played on this field I didn’t play that well,” Needham
said. “I knew I needed to bring it tonight. We needed to be ourselves and
get the job done.”
That Needham was one of the contributors along with a goal from David
Gutierrez was exactly what Sensibaugh was hoping for out of the match.
“This was a chance for guys to take advantage of some opportunities,”
Sensibaugh said. “Guys don’t really come to me and ask about playing time,
but they know if they want it, they have to take advantage of their
Portage upset Valparaiso 2-1 in the first match of the night, getting a
game-winning goal midway through the second half from junior Matthew Ford.
Saturday’s championship contest will be a rematch of Chesterton’s 2-1
overtime victory over Portage from earlier in the season. The two teams
played an even match before Weller delivered the game-winner in the extra
“It’s going to come down to winning the individual battles,” Sensibaugh
said. “We know Portage. We know that they have really good players. They
always play hard and they’re always going to give 100 percent. We need to
win the battles that help us win the war.”