CHESTERTON | James Sensibaugh had a hunch and Datin Ringas had an answer.
Sensibaugh decided to move the defensive starter to the frontline in the second half and Ringas delivered with a game-winning goal in the 71st minute of Times No. 3 Chesterton’s 2-1 win over Andrean in Monday’s boys soccer nonconference contest.
The goal marked Ringas’ second career goal.
“Sometimes you have a feeling that someone just wants to punch one in,” said Sensibaugh, Chesterton's coach. “Datin had that look tonight.”
With a physical match tied at 1-1, Chesterton sophomore Trent Weller pushed the ball off the foot of Andrean senior Daniel Adair and right into the waiting grasp of Ringas. The junior took one touch with the ball and ripped a shot straight down the middle of the pipe that eluded Andrean keeper Chris Orozco.
“I just wanted to stay calm,” Ringas said. “There are a lot of guys who get excited and they lean back and next thing you know they are kicking a field goal.”
As soon as the goal went through, Ringas instinctively ran back on defense and stayed there for the remainder of the game. The 59ers failed to threaten in the final nine minutes of the match.
“I made the decision myself that I was going back to defense,” Ringas said. “That’s my spot and we stayed solid and stayed tough down the stretch.”
The Trojans (8-2) were playing a mixture of inspired and angry soccer throughout much of the match after Adair delivered a shot to Chesterton junior Billy Biehl that knocked the star forward out of the match with a head injury.
Adair was given a yellow card, but Sensibaugh thought the play warranted something more.
“Everyone that was here except for the one that mattered saw it a certain way,” Sensibaugh said. “I told our guys the scoreboard was where (revenge) would hurt the most. We’re not the type of program that goes out there and attacks players.”
The 59ers took the advantage early in the match when Mike Gore broke free with the ball in the eighth minute and pushed a shot past Chesterton keeper Caleb Gmyrek. Andrean had a chance to take a 2-0 lead in the 34th minute, but the 59ers had a header bounce off the right post and then Gmyrek made a strong save on Adair’s recovery shot.
The Trojans seized momentum 19 seconds later when Weller scored Chesterton’s first goal of the night.
“If one of those shots goes in, then maybe it’s a completely different game,” Andrean coach Pete Reist said. “We changed our formation a couple days ago and we’re getting there. We’re really close to where we want to be.”