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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, October 07, 2018 1:00 am

Boys soccer sectional final

Carroll relentless in dominating Saints from start

DAN VANCE | For The Journal Gazette

The weather couldn't stop sectional championship play at Carroll. And unfortunately for Bishop Dwenger, it also couldn't slow a Carroll team heavy with momentum, leading to a 5-1 final and a title for the host Chargers.

Heavy rain delayed the final match of the Class 3A sectional title match for 45 minutes, and the Chargers (15-2-2) proved eager to get things going. The host team scored less than four minutes into the match and followed up with an unrelenting pressure that had the Saints (7-7-2) on their heels for much of the match.

“As sloppy as the field is, you can give easily give up a cheap goal and get yourself behind,” Carroll coach Rollie Clements said. “Getting up was big. Especially when we kept our first group out there, they are pretty good. It is a little harder with the young guys to stay focused when you have a four-goal lead.”

It was just 3˝ minutes into the first half that Peyton Fosnough played a cross from the left corner to slide a goal past Bishop Dwenger's Stefan Magner. The Chargers never looked back and rarely let up. Just two minutes later, Fosnough crossed the ball to Nolan Gonzalez, who's deflected shot was punched into the back of the goal by Sam Michaels, a transfer from Bishop Dwenger.

Carroll scored on two of its first three shots on goal.

While the offense more than did its job early, it was the Carroll midfield that controlled Bishop Dwenger. The Saints were not able to control the ball significantly in their scoring third of the field until the 22:16 mark of the first half.

Even then, the Saints often looked in favor of the big play as opposed to making progress on play toward the Carroll goal.

“I think controlling the midfield is one of the more critical aspects of the game. Just keeping that under control to get those goals,” Carroll senior Patryk Olczyk said. “We just wanted to go out hard early.”

The Chargers put in two more first-half goals, taking advantage of Magner's inability to grab shots and playing the ball off the Bishop Dwenger goalkeeper's deflections in net.

With 19:36 remaining in the half, Olczyk booted a shot off the crossbar and Fosnough's rebound shot was deflected to the waiting foot of Michael Frank for the third Carroll goal.

With 13:26 to play in the half, Fosnough took Brian Tippmann one on one to the goal, and Magner managed to get a hand on the shot but Carroll's Rylan Lochmueller chipped in the rebound for a score.

The Saints were able to get quick restarts on Carroll fouls but rarely were able to take advantage of their timing.

Their best look of the opening half came near the 25-minute mark, but Carroll goal Brohde Eckert slid in to grab the cross pass and stop any scoring hopes for Bishop Dwenger.

The Saints turned up their effort into the second half, mustering more shots on goal in the first 10 minutes than they had in the entire first half of the match. The first of those attempts was the Saints' only successful play on goal on the night. It was senior Peter McArdle who slid the one-touch shot past Eckert for the score off the assist of Tobechi Eke.

It was, of course, Fosnough who kept the pressure on and scoreboard active for the Chargers. Carroll's leading scorer fired a shot from the top right of the box with 27:45 to play to the bottom left of the goal past a diving Magner. It was Fosnough's second straight match with two goals in sectional play.

The Saints took a few more chances down the stretch on backup Carroll goalkeeper Nathan Fey, who came in with 26:45 to play after Eckert left the match injured.

Neither of the Saints' two final chances panned out against the Chargers backup.

Although the Chargers play a lot of young players, the win was an important moment for the eight-player senior class.

“Hopefully it means a lot. It has been a while so hopefully they enjoy this,” Clements said, noting that this was Carroll's 13th sectional title but first since 2011.

“It has been a dream of ours,” Olczyk added. “We knew we would have a strong team, so we had to go out there this year to do our best and get this win.”

Carroll now advances to Saturday's 10 a.m. match at the Kokomo-hosted regional.