VALPARAISO | For the past two years, Chesterton had knocked off Valparaiso in the sectional.
Vikings coach Danny Jeftich told his team he was sick of losing to the Trojans, so he certainly didn't mind having to endure some serious drama in order to do so.
After 94 minutes of scoreless play, Valpo blanked Chesterton 3-0 in a penalty kick shootout to capture Saturday's Class 2A Valparaiso Sectional at Viking Arena.
"It's a big thing for this team," Jeftich said. "We didn't win the DAC, which was one of our goals, because Chesterton beat us in August. We're not the same team from August. We're a different team and we battled tonight. I'm so proud of them. I love my guys."
On this night, maybe none more than keeper Ian Ramirez.
"Each save was its own, but it was one giant glare," said Ramirez, who also had three saves during regulation and overtime. "I actually wanted a shootout. As crazy as that sounds, I have a great goal coach. He taught me how to save (shootout shots), so I could, for the most part, guess which way they were going, so I felt more confident in a shootout than regulation play."
Trey Sorrells hit the clincher to give the Vikings their first sectional championship since 2008.
"I always go right, and I saw (keeper Jacob) Garmany go to his left, so I was just able to pass it right down the center," Sorrells said. "I knew it was going in the whole time. It kind of breaks a curse we've had. We haven't been able to win sectionals. Being able to do this can help us win regionals."
Berkley Ramsey and Robbie McBride also made their shootout goals for the Vikings (10-7-1).
Billy Biehl, Jonathan Blake and John Morris all had their shots blocked by Ramirez, who played the entire game until he was replaced by Ethan Lehnen for a quick breather with 1:39 left to go in the second overtime.
"We put Ethan in to keep fresh, and we took Ian out to clear his head, but the decision was to go with Ian for the shootout," Jeftich said.
Chesterton (13-3-2) outshot Valparaiso 12-9 and 4-2 in shots on goal. Both teams had plenty of opportunities during regulation and overtime to score, but neither could find a way to get the ball into the net.
"I thought we had a lot of opportunities we should have finished," Chesterton coach Jamie Sensibaugh said. "We definitely were the better offensive team, but we just couldn't finish. Give them (Valparaiso) credit, they persevered and that's what you do in a soccer game."