Charlie Eaton knew
there was a chance he was putting on a Chesterton soccer jersey for the
final time on Wednesday night. The senior goalie also knew that meant he was
going to make the most of every minute he had left.
Eaton delivered two
clutch saves early in Wednesday’s Class 3A sectional semifinal against rival
Valparaiso and then held off a fury of activity from the Vikings late in the
match as the Trojans held on for a 3-2 victory.
meet Crown Point in the sectional title game on Saturday night at Crown
energy that I’m able to bring to my teammates in any way, that’s going to be
big,” Eaton said. “If you can come up with a big save or a big play, that’s
going to give a boost to the team. As a senior and as a leader, I’ve got to
The Trojans (16-2)
went on the offensive shortly after Eaton’s two saves in the 15th minute as
Chesterton scored off a corner kick. Ryan O’Dell lofted a perfect strike
that found the head of senior defender Matt Lane who then flicked the ball
into the net. The Trojans practiced corner kicks for much of last Friday’s
practice and came up empty on every attempt.
“It was the first
day all season that we really practiced them,” Eaton said. “We went 0-for-30
in practice and then we come out here and we get two.”
The second goal
came 71 seconds into the second half when O’Dell launched a ball toward Zack
Bowser who headed the shot in for his 34th goal of the season, giving the
Trojans a 2-0 lead. That lead grew to 3-0 when the two players switched
roles and Bowser flipped a pass up to O’Dell who headed the ball to the net
in the 71st minute.
“We had to come out
strong to start the second half,” Chesterton coach Lucas Sabedra said. “It
was a relief to get that second goal. It was a bigger relief to get the
third goal. The kids were battling throughout the night.”
to get back in the game, scoring two goals within four minutes beginning
with Breece Walls scoring in the 70th minute off a pass from Jack Isroff.
Isroff then converted a penalty kick in the 74th minute to cut the deficit
to 3-2. The Vikings continued to challenge Chesterton, but Eaton added three
more saves in the final five minutes of the match.
“They brought their
numbers forward and you knew they were going to battle,” Eaton said. “As
soon as they came up the field, you just can’t get rattled. You have to
remain calm and play your game.”
Crown Point in a penalty shootout earlier this year. The two teams met at
Crown Point on Sept. 9th and were tied 1-1 before the Trojans won 5-3 in a
shootout. Chesterton is aiming for its third consecutive sectional title and
seventh in the last eight years.
CHESTERTON - Ryan
O'Dell 1 goal, 2 assists; Zack Bowser 1 goal, 1 assist; Matt Lane 1 assist;
Charlie Eaton 6 saves.
VALPARAISO - Breece
Walls 1 goal; Jack Isroff 1 goal, 1 assist; Cole Vandiver 6 saves.
16-2; Valparaiso 14-3-1