MERRILLVILLE — Crown Point continues to roll.
The Bulldogs haven't lose since Aug. 21 and behind a stout defense, the 'Dogs pushed their win streak to nine with a 1-0 win over Valparaiso at the Class 3A Merrillville Sectional on Wednesday night.
C.P. will play Chesterton in Saturday's sectional title game. The Trojans defeated Michigan City 3-0 in the other semifinal.
"We've got a solid leader in the back in Zachary Carpenter and he keeps things well-organized," Crown Point coach Mike Bazin said. "I trust him and that back line (Hayden Eaton, Zachary Engle) in a lot of situations. When you play with three in the back like we do, you have to trust them."
Keeper Jack Mumaugh made three saves en route to the shutout.
"I was really impressed with him," Bazin said. "He came out and intercepted some balls that could've been dangerous."
The lone tally of the match for Crown Point (12-3-3) came off a set piece from Filip Stefanoski that Trevor Witte deposited in the back of the net in the 21st minute.
"Since we don't have height like most teams, that's a play we run that's worked a couple times this season," Witte said. "I came around the box, Parker (Darnstaedt) let it go between his legs and I slipped in behind and shot it."
"We try to run three or four options off any set piece because at this point in the season, you're not going to pull anything on these teams," Bazin added.
The Bulldogs garnered a few more chances in a game that Bazin didn't necessarily think was their best offensive effort.
"It was our first very competitive game in a while and it took the guys some time to get used to that," he said. "I don't think we ever got into the groove of possessing the ball and moving it, but it's still good to survive and advance."
Valparaiso (7-9-3) got four saves each from Evan Fletcher and Blake Mersman, but saw its attack take a hit when leading scorer Blaise Sellers left early in the second half with a head injury.
"Blaise coming out hurt us," Valpo coach Danny Jeftich said. "We had to change a personnel a bit there and the ball just didn't bounce our way. We missed an assignment on the corner kick leading to that goal and C.P. is just a very good team that defended well.
"It was an evenly matched game and we knew it'd be tight and it could've gone either way. The boys left it on the field, especially our seniors, and I feel for them because they wanted to go a little further but that's how the game is. The effort was there."