Boys Varsity Soccer · So Close . . .

Boys Soccer respond to 1-0 loss in the State Final in sudden death penalty kicks. Photo courtesy of McIntyre Imaging.

The Boys Soccer team (13-9) came into last night’s IHSAA Class 1A State Final against Fort Wayne Canterbury (13-7-4) hoping that the third time would be the charm for the Warriors.  Canterbury had defeated CCHS in both the 2012 and 2017 1A title games, two of the state record six soccer titles that the Cavaliers possess.  Covenant battled throughout depite the cold and wet weather conditions, controlled a good portion of the match, had more good scoring chances, and possessed the ball better than the Cavaliers. But in the end, the Warriors came up just short, falling 1-0 (6-5) in the second round of penalty kicks.

CCHS came out as the aggressor in the first fifteen minutes, but Canterbury sustained the Warriors’ energy and ball control to keep it as a 0-0 tie through the first 40 minutes.  The action was more even and back and forth in the second half, with both teams each having scoring opportunities.  CCHS Senior Braden Havics hit a post and the Warriors made Canterbury goalkeeper Senior Clayton Perry make four saves on their eight shots.  The Cavaliers were denied five times by Covenant keeper Senior Jacob Susud on their six shots.

Click here for McIntyre Imaging’s photo gallery from the 2018 IHSAA Class 1A State Final.

2018 IHSAA Class 1A State Runner-up. Photo courtesy of McIntyre Imaging.

The scoreless tie continued through all eighty minutes of regulation and fourteen minutes of overtime, which sent the game into a penalty kick shootout.  The shootout started with Covenant Senior Maclain Hastings burying his shot into the upper left corner.  Canterbury matched it.  Senior Gabe Byrd put his shot just under the crossbar in the upper left corner as Perry guessed the wrong way on his dive.  Canterbury matched it to make it 2-2.  Senior Noah Martin calmly stepped up to put his kick into the left side.  Canterbury matched again.  Senior Braden Havics went low and on the left side to make it 4-3.  Canterbury tied it again.  Junior Will Trapp banged his shot off of the back of goal before Perry could barely move.  Canterbury matched again, as Susud could not quite reach the goal in the left side net.  Tied at 5-5 after the first round, the shootout moved on to sudden death in the second round.  Sophomore Eli Martin took the first shot of the second round for the Warriors, but put it just over the top of the crossbar to open the door for the Cavaliers.  Junior Joel Groninger buried the next shot in the right side to win the match for Canterbury.

The win denied the Warriors of the school’s first state title in five state finals appearances.  The Cavaliers won their seventh soccer title in program history.  Both teams will move to Class 2A next season due to the IHSAA Success Factor.

2018 C. Eugene Cato Mental Attitude Award winner Senior Noah Martin. Photo courtesy of McIntyre Imaging.

Noah Martin was selected as the 2018 C. Eugene Cato Mental Attitude Award presented by Farm Bureau Insurance.  The Mental Attitude Award is an award for mental attitude to an outstanding senior participant in the boys soccer state tournament. The recipient of this award, who was nominated by his principal and coach, must excel in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability in soccer. The award is named in honor of Mr. Cato, who served the IHSAA as its fifth commissioner from 1983 to 1995. The award, which marks the second consecutive season that a Covenant student athlete was selected for this honor, as Austin Wagner was selected in 2017, includes a $1000 scholarship for the Covenant scholarship fund.

Congratulations to Coach Pfeifer and his coaching staff on the second straight state finals appearance in his first two seasons and to the thirteen seniors as they end outstanding high school careers.