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Friday, October 13, 2017 1:10 am

Boys Soccer Regionals

Bruins duo has school history in sights

Josh Patterson | For The Journal Gazette

Boys Soccer

Area Regionals

Saturday

Class 3A

At Kokomo

• No. 3 Lafayette Harrison (16-1-2) vs. Warsaw (13-5-2), 10 a.m.

• No. 2 Hamilton Southeastern (16-1-1) vs. Northrop (14-3-1), noon

• Championship, 7 p.m.

Class 2A

At Mishawaka Marian

• No. 8 S.B. St. Joseph (10-8-1) vs. No. 14 West Lafayette (14-6), 10:30 a.m.

• Garrett (9-8-1) vs. Hammond Bishop Noll (12-2-1), 12:30 p.m.

• Championship, 7 p.m.

At Oak Hill

• No. 20 Eastbrook (13-3-1) vs. No. 16 Bellmont (15-3-1), 10 a.m.

• No. 7 Marion (13-3-1) vs. No. 17 Concordia (14-2-4), noon

• Championship, 7 p.m.

Class 1A

At Taylor

• No. 10 Lafayette Central Catholic (15-4) vs. No. 2 University (14-4), 10 a.m.

• Liberty Christian (12-4-1) vs. No. 3 Canterbury (9-6-3), noon

• Championship, 7 p.m.

With a combined 62 goals and 40 assists since the 2016 season, Northrop's Dinelson Madrid and Erdwin Quintana have terrorized the SAC, sweeping the league in successive years while winning two straight sectional championships. Forming a formidable partnership on the pitch, Madrid and Quintana have forged a friendship inside the halls at Northrop as well.

Madrid, a senior, was born in Honduras. Quintana, a junior, whose parents lived in Mexico until just before he was born, has helped Madrid acclimate to life in the United States.

“One day I saw him at Northrop and they said he was a soccer player,” Quintana said. “I went up to him and his brother, and I told them to try out for (the soccer team). From there, I've been talking to him. We became really good friends.”

While Madrid and Quintana use differing skill sets, they mesh incredibly well, as Bruins coach Billy Foreman explained.

As a fleet-footed forward, Madrid takes advantage of his speed to get past defenders. It's a task made easier by Quintana's ability to possess the ball and place inch-perfect passes.

But it's not just a one-way street, with Quintana finding a streaking Madrid for easy tap-in goals. Both players are looking to set each other up to score, and that unselfishness makes defending both players a fitful affair.

“They play really well together,” Foreman said. “I've been coaching for a while, and I haven't seen two players be on the same page as often as they are. They both have a ton of passion, not just for the game but for Northrop.

“They just have so much confidence, so much composure, and they're always looking for each other. They're just so creative, and they kind of have their own little communication.”

Quintana's time with Fort Wayne United has taught him how to hasten his decision-making skills while possessing the ball. The travel soccer playing style, generally quicker than what is encountered during the high school season, has carried over and served as a key component to the Bruins' impressive run.

“It helps me move the ball faster and made my touch so much better,” Quintana said of his time with United. “It's just good playing against different players and seeing the different competition that's around. My shot is pretty good, and my passes are getting much better.”

Northrop faces a much more difficult road to a first-ever regional championship this year compared to last. Class 3A No. 2 Hamilton Southeastern, currently 16-1-2, awaits in the semifinals, with either Warsaw (13-5-2) or No. 3 Lafayette Harrison (16-1-2) looming in the championship match at Kokomo.

In 2016, the Bruins easily dispatched Norwell, which ended the regular season under .500, in the regional semifinals before West Noble's last-minute goal lifted the Chargers past Northrop in the championship.

To clear that hurdle this year, the Madrid-Quintana partnership will need to shine, though the loss remains fresh in their minds.

“We got what we wanted. Now we have to win that regional championship,” Quintana said. “That's what we've been looking for since last year.”