Chesterton Tribune



Eaton and Trojan Boys advance to sectional finals in soccer

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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.

Chesterton will meet Crown Point in the sectional title game on Saturday night at Crown Point.

“Any positive 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 do that.”

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.”

Valparaiso fought 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.”

Chesterton beat 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 3, Valparaiso 2

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.

Records: Chesterton 16-2; Valparaiso 14-3-1



Posted 10/8/2020




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