It's a glorious day for soccer at Kuntz Stadium in Indianapolis for the 15th annual IHSAA Boys and Girls Soccer State Championships. Great crowd on hand for the girls semifinals this morning, including the Memorial crazies who are out in full force rooting on their Lady Tigers from Evansville. Memorial is trying to do what no other team has done versus the Lady Millers from Noblesville HS - score a goal. So far 40 minutes are in the books and the teams are scoreless on the east (championship) side of the facility here at Kuntz Stadium. The Miller's defense of stopper Jessie Craig, sweeper Ellen Duckwall, and outside defenders Samantha Parrish and McKenzie Cain have done a terrific job of shutting down the Tiger's forwards of Cecilia Pauli, Susan Ellsperman, and Meghan Day, who have combined for 45 of the Tigers 89 team goals scored this year.
In the other state semifinal, a young FW Sndier side, which starts only one senior, has a 1-0 lead over the Lady Eagles from Culver Acadmies. The Panther goal came in the fourth minute of the match on a brilliant header assist by forward Tracey Tiernon (her 5th assist of the season) to forward Elizabeth Carr, who tickled the onion sack for the 10th time this year.
We're getting set to start the second half. The winners meet tonight and you can catch all the action with yours truly and defending girls state championship head coach Marc Behringer of Indianapolis Cathedreal on IHSAA.org beginning at 6:00 ET/5:00 PM CT.
Both girls semifinals ended up going to penalty kicks. The Culver Girls Academies forced the overtime when Maddie Balchin scored off an assist by Jenna Iwaniec on header 12 yards out off a corner kick to tie the game at 56:42. However, FW Snider Panthers keeper Krysta Hedrick was too much for Culver Academies to overcome as she shutout the Eagles in PK's by a score of 3-0. It was the first loss of the season for Head Coach Harry Cannellakis, as the Eagles finished the season 17-1-3.
The other semifinal eneded in a 0-0 tie between the Noblesville and Evansville Memorial Girls, as the Lady Millers of Noblesville ended up their season without allowing a sigle goal all year long! However, the storybook season for Coach Mike Brady's side as Evansville girls keeper Sarah Stone shut down the Millers in a 4-2 shootout win. Noblesville ended the campaign with a record of 19-1-2, while Evansville Memorial will play FW Snider for the girls championship tonight with a record of 21-2.
The Lady Tigers will now cheer on their classmates form the boys team at Memorial, who are rated number 5 in the NATION. The Tigers will play undefeated Homestead in the boys semifinal on the east field. The other boys semifinal will feature Mishawaka Marian (15-6-0) versus Zionsville (19-3-1).
The weather remains fantastic and the crowd has grown, with a very large contingent from Evansville to see if the Tigers can make history be becoming the first school to win boys and girls state championships in the same year. They are now one-third of the way there.
In the boys semifinals, Evansville Memorial's Max Lachoweici took advantage of the miscue by Homestead keeper Justin Hanford to pick up his 26th goal of the season to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead at the half. After the Tiger's goal, the Spartans settled down and had some qulity chances on a pair of corner kicks during the middle portion of the first half.
Meanwhile, on the west field, the Zionsville Eagles dominated possession in the first half versus the Knights from Mishawaka Marian and took a 1-0 lead into the halftime lockerroom. The score could have been worse for the Knights, but junior striker Harrrison Petts (38G 25A this season) hit two crossbars after clearly beating Marian goalkeeper Cody Camp. The Eagles got on the board at 34:38 off a corner by Petts that set up Blake Elliott for a short point blank shot past Camp.
The Evansville boys held up their bargain in the second half as they starved off the Spartans and held on to the 1-0 win. Memorial now joins the girls in the state championship with a chance for the school to win both the boys and girls titles for the first time in IHSAA soccer history.
The Zionsville Eagles picked up their 20th win of the year as Harrison Petts notched hi 39th goal of the year off a feed on the right wing by A.J. Corrado to give the Eagles the insurance goal in a 2-0 win.
So tonight on the pitch at Kuntz Stadium and on the webcast at IHSAA.org, here are the matchups for the 15th Annual ISHAA Soccer state finals:
Girls Match - 6:00 PM ET/ 5:00 PM CT
Evansville Memorial Tigers (21-2) vs FW Snider Panthers 16-5-2)
Boys Match - 8:00 PM ET/7:00 PM CT
Evansville Memorial Tigers (22-0-2) #5 in the USA vs Noblesville (20-3-1)