MERRILLVILLE | Crown Point sophomore Carmelo Morales was born in 1995, coincidentally the same year the Bulldogs last won a soccer sectional.
He can now say the he was a huge part of breaking the 15-year streak of failures, as he scored two goals and added an assist in the Bulldogs' 6-0 destruction of Lowell in the finals of the Class 2A Merrillville Sectional on Saturday night.
"It's always nice to win a sectional, but our goal is to go far in the tournament," Crown Point coach JR Rosenbaum said. "We love it, but it's just another step for us."
Crown Point faces Duneland Athletic Conference foe Lake Central in Thursday's semifinals of the Merrillville Regional.
With Crown Point (11-6-2) controlling the ball for the most part, Morales scored his second goal of the tournament on a beautiful shot past angling Lowell keeper Brendon Shanks.
Morales added his second goal 14 minutes later after junior Alex Fenn stole the ball from Lowell near midfield, dribbled for a second and led Morales into the box where he took over and put it in.
"We started off better tonight," Morales said. "When we play together and slow down the tempo, we're hard to beat."
After three close calls in the first half, junior Zach Sneiderwine finally netted one for his first goal of the playoffs with 29 minutes left to extend the Bulldog lead to three.
A mere ten minutes later, junior Kristijan Naumoski got into the scoring fray off a beautiful feed from Morales for CP's fourth goal.
"We had our chances, but we didn't put them away," Lowell coach Chris Werling said. "We can't play with ifs, but we played our hearts out and look forward to see what we can do next year."
Lowell (3-15) just couldn't really generate any opportunities or get any past Bulldog keeper Aleks Trifunovic, who notched seven saves, which included a crucial one in the first two minutes of the game.
"Aleksandar was probably our most important player because he came up with the great save in the first couple minutes," Rosenbaum said. "If he doesn't make the save, it's a different ball game."