ST. JOHN | When a team loses one of its most impactful players, things can go awry quickly.
However, that wasn't the case for Times No. 3 Chesterton in Thursday night's 1-0 win over Duneland Athletic Conference opponent Lake Central.
On Monday night, Chesterton suffered a huge loss when junior midfielder Billy Biehl was elbowed in the face during its 2-1 win over Andrean. Biehl was lost for the season with multiple fractures in his face.
It has forced players like senior forward John Ward to focus more.
After going scoreless for the first 59 minutes, Ward connected for the Trojans on the game's only goal.
Ward and sophomore forward Trent Weller converged at the middle of the field near the the L.C. goalie box. Weller left the ball for Ward, who scooted it past Indians keeper George Trujilo.
"Billy is our best playmaker, and the loss is pretty bad," Ward said. "We have to persevere, step outside of our comfort zone and do more than when he was in there."
Chesterton (9-2, 2-2), which controlled the ball on the opposite side of the field for much of the duration of the first half, had several opportunities to score but could not convert.
In the 26th minute, Weller took a deflection off a free kick and faked out to defenders and had a wide-open shot, but his attempt went wide right.
"This is always a tough place to play, and they have young kids who keep their defensive team shape really well," Chesterton coach James Sensibaugh said. "When coming to play here versus L.C., I'll take 1-0 all day."
In the 31st minute, Weller connected on a header from a corner kick, but Lake Central (3-7-1, 1-4) deflected the ball into Turjilo's hands.
"We've had vast improvement on defense all year," Lake Central coach Jereme Rainwater said. "Every guy on the roster has improved."
Right before the first half ended and in one of the rare times the Indians had the ball in the Trojan box, senior midfielder Ogi Janjus found an opening, but there was a miscommunication on the play, and the Trojans cleared it.
Just three minutes into the second half, Ward, who was trying to go top right, booted one that Turjilo, who had five saves, stopped by stretching out with his right hand.
"Veteran coaches tell me after games that George is such a rock back there with his saves and the way he organizes the defense," Rainwater said.
Freshman midfielder Enrique Dominguez shot one right to Trojans senior keeper Caleb Gmyrek, who has seven shutouts this year, in L.C.'s best shot to score in the second half.