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Boone Grove

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Big picture: Max Kidd better buy a couple lottery tickets for one of the huge jackpots that is out there right now.

As Fort Wayne Canterbury celebrated its victory over the Boone Grove boys soccer team in last year's Class 1A semistate, the former Wolves keeper told his teammates that could be them this year.

"I told the guys to soak it in and look at their celebration, because that'll fuel them," Kidd said after last year's loss. "We lost sophomore year (2015) in regionals and last year (2016) in sectionals and we used those offseasons to work our butts off. Next year's team will look a little different, but I think they'll be able to do big things and I know I'll be rooting for them."

The Wolves, who are ranked No. 5 in the Indiana Soccer Coaches Association Class 1A poll, beat No. 18 Argos 3-2 in the Argos Regional final Saturday, setting up a rematch with Canterbury in semistate at either Kokomo or South Bend St. Joseph on Oct. 20.

"Last year, we were just happy to be there and didn't know what to expect," Boone Grove senior midfielder Dylan Castellanos said. "This year we're going there to win. We're going to practice on moving the ball better between each other and the speed of play."

Last year, it took a penalty kick from then-junior Logan Tatalovich with 30 seconds left in the match to propel Boone Grove to its first regional title.

But on Saturday, the Wolves — who have won 12 straight matches — were on the bad end of the PK. This time junior keeper Quinn Walker was called for a foul in his team's box, which resulted in the 18th-minute goal off the foot of Argos senior midfielder Lukas VanDerWeele.

That began a crazy sequence of four goals in five minutes. 

Boone Grove got goals in the 20th and 21st minutes from Castellanos and junior Alec Strubel, respectively.

Argos responded in the 22nd minute when senior Ian Kindig scored off a Gabe Stone corner kick.

"The offense has started clicking in solid spurts and the defense has stepped it up even more this year," Castellanos said.

Neither team had noteworthy looks throughout the rest of the first half and the majority of the second half.

Turning point: After Argos was called for a foul near the far side about 7 yards off the 18-yard box, Castellanos took the free kick and it deflected off Dragons defender Owen Nifong for the own goal in the 71st minute.

Senior Branden Hill usually takes free kicks for Boone Grove and there was a bit of a discussion among the Wolves regarding who would take it. 

"I trust (Castellanos) 100 percent. We've been playing together since we were little," Hill said.

Boone Grove player of the game: Castellanos - He scored one goal and his free kick led to an own goal, which proved to be the game winner.

Quote: "I'd be lying if I said Fort Wayne Canterbury wasn't a topic from Day 1," Boone Grove coach Brian Sherwin said. "We thought we'd see them again if we made it here and we're looking to have a better ending this time around." 

Beyond the box score: Boone Grove and Argos have won eight straight regionals between them, with Argos winning six straight between 2011 and 2016, and Boone Grove winning the last two.

Up next: Boone Grove (18-2-1) vs. Fort Wayne Canterbury (10-7-4) in semistate game at Kokomo or South Bend St. Joseph, Oct. 20.

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