Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Homestead's Marco Navarro, right, was earned ISCA first team All-State honors a year ago, guiding a Spartans defense that surrendered just 26 goals in 19 contests.
Friday, August 10, 2018 1:00 am
Five to watch season preview Prolific scorers mark boys soccer return
JOSH PATTERSON | For The Journal Gazette
One week after the soccer season kicks off, a quartet of area boys soccer teams will look to put their best foot forward in the 20th annual National Soccer Festival on Aug. 17 and 18.
On Aug. 18, Canterbury, the defending Class A state champion and lone Journal Gazette-area boys team to win a state title in any IHSAA sport during the 2017-18 season, will take on Bishop Luers at Indiana Tech's Warrior Field. Carroll faces Indianapolis Cathedral in the day's opener at 8 a.m., while Homestead will play Zionsville before the Cavaliers and Knights conclude the boys slate.
The season kicks off in earnest Saturday, with all eyes focused on the goal of a trip to IUPUI's Carroll Stadium the final weekend in October for the state finals.
Marco Navarro, Homestead: The 5-foot-10 senior center back scored five goals a season ago, earning ISCA first-team All State honors as a junior while leading a defense that allowed just 26 goals in 19 games.
Erdwin Quintana, Northrop: After a 17-goal, 11-assist junior season, the Bruin earned distinction as the lone underclassman forward named to the ISCA District 2 first team.
Zar Kyi Kan, Heritage: The junior's 78 points ranked eighth-best statewide in 2017, finishing fifth in goals with 36.
Adam Gottschalk, Concordia: The junior pushed the Cadets to the Class 2A state title game with 19 goals and five assists last fall.
Chris Pena, Wawasee: As a sophomore in 2017, Pena scored 18 goals and added 15 assists, marking his second straight double-digit scoring season.
Canterbury: While the Cavaliers lost nine seniors from the squad that won the school's sixth state championship, goalkeeper Clayton Perry (55 saves, .864 save percentage) and forward Justin Baeten (12 goals, seven assists) return to give coach Greg Mauch a couple solid building blocks.
Concordia: After the school's first state championship game appearance, coach Kevin Macke will want to make sure that success wasn't just a one-shot occurrence.
West Noble: Program-wide, the Northeast Corner Conference power fields nearly 60 athletes. The Chargers scored a whopping 81 goals last fall (4.7 goals per game).
Carroll: The blue-and-white Chargers will seek to rebound from a frustrating lack of offense in 2017, a campaign that included five scoreless draws.
Bellmont: The Braves tied Huntington North atop the Northeast 8 last fall, then defeated a pair of conference foes en route to a sectional championship at home.
End of an era: The 20th installment of the National Soccer Festival will serve as the final edition, as organizers have announced plans to discontinue the event.
Split at the top: Northrop and Concordia each finished 6-1 in SAC play last fall, and the Bruins (Quintana) and Cadets (Gottschalk) each return a proven scorer.
Heavy graduation losses: The NE8's co-leaders from a season ago each will retool their varsity lineups a bit, as Bellmont lost seven seniors from a 15-win sectional champion, while Huntington North has to replace 11 from its squad that won 14 matches in 2017.
Pats standing tall: With one of the state's best goal scorers returning (Kan), Heritage has a realistic shot to extend its ACAC championship streak to four. The Patriots haven't lost in conference play since falling to Leo in 2014.
Summer road trip: Carroll sophomore Logan Gonzalez, who lettered for the Chargers as a freshman in 2017, traveled to Medellin, Colombia, this summer with the US National Youth Futsal team for a series of friendlies.