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Chesterton falls short of first regional championship in 10 years
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Girls soccer | SB Adams Regional

Chesterton falls short of first regional championship in 10 years

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3A girls soccer regional final: Chesterton vs. South Bend St. Joseph

Chesterton's Addy Joiner, left, attempts a shot while South Bend St. Joseph's Isabella Troester tries to block on Saturday during a 3A regional final in South Bend.

SOUTH BEND — After knocking off Crown Point to advance to the Class 3A South Bend Adams Regional championship Saturday evening, Chesterton held its own against South Bend St. Joseph.

The Indians are ranked as the No. 1 Class 3A team in the state in the final Indiana Soccer Coaches Association, and despite several shots on goal in the first half, the Trojans kept making timely defensive plays to keep the game scoreless.

“The rankings were wrong,” Chesterton coach Ben Forgey said. “The state rankings don’t even have us in there, but that’s based on early in the season, and I knew we were every bit (as good as) this team is.”

Early in the second half, South Bend St. Joseph finally broke through.

Senior forward Georgia Place scored off a rebound in the 49th minute, following a save from Trojans goalkeeper Carley Balas, and fellow senior forward and DePaul recruit Natalie Moore put the game away with a goal in the 69th minute.

The Indians' 2-0 victory lifted them to their first Class 3A regional title, while simultaneously ending Chesterton’s memorable season. Moments after the loss, Forgey gathered his players together and told them they had no reason to hang their heads. The Trojans were one of eight teams left in the Class 3A state tournament, and he believes that should not be overlooked.

“The only thing you can ask for in a student-athlete is to work and get better and that’s really rewarding,” Forgey said. “ … It would have been really easy to get down on each but they didn’t. They all supported each other, and they all wanted to work to get better. We have a high standard.”

One player who surely lived up to that high standard is senior forward Addy Joiner. The Valparaiso University commit was probably at the top of every opposing team’s scouting report not only for this season but throughout her entire high school career.

Joiner ended her final prep campaign with 35 goals and totaled a program-record 113 goals, but her individual accomplishments are not what she’ll cherish the most about the last four years.

She said the time she shared with her teammates and their collective desire to be great made every practice and game worthwhile.

“I think we’re all the most competitive kids in the Region,” Joiner said. “I don’t know what is in the water in Chesterton, but I think Chesterton breeds some of the most competitive kids, and I’m proud of all of us.”

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Joiner said South Bend St. Joseph's backline was the toughest group of defenders she faced all year, and even when the Trojans did find a little daylight, they weren’t able to capitalize. Chesterton (15-5-0) ended the game with six shots on goal, compared to 12 shots on goal by the Indians (16-2-0).

Coming into the season, Joiner was worried that her senior campaign might get canceled because of COVID-19. After leading the Trojans to their 12th sectional championship and bringing them within one victory of their first regional crown in a decade, she can breathe a little easier knowing she was able to end her prep career on her own terms.

“It means everything to make it this far. In my four years we never made it this far,” Joiner said. “I'm really proud of all of us, but I’m just sad it’s done.”

Chesterton hangs on against Crown Point

The Trojans defeated the Bulldogs 3-2 in overtime of their regional semifinal. An own goal by Crown Point (13-5-1) in the fourth minute proved to be the difference.

Forwards Gina Geenen and Annalisa Hackett provided the other two goals for Chesterton in the 35th minute and 86th minute, respectively.

Bulldogs forwards Zoey Wells and Erin Harrison each scored a goal in the second half to send the game into overtime. Crown Point coach Chris Mikrut said his team's rally was commendable but a little too late.

“I didn’t think it was going to (penalty kicks),” Mikrut said. “I thought we could get one more (goal). We had the momentum for the majority of the (second half). But, I thought the girls did great. They did what we asked them to do.”

Gallery: 3A girls soccer regional final

Gallery: 3A girls soccer regional semifinal

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Lake County Sports Reporter

James Boyd is the Lake County prep sports reporter for The Times. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a proud native of Romeoville, Illinois. Before anything else, his main goal in life is to spread love and light.

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