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Chesterton vs. Penn in boys soccer regional

Chesterton's Jack Eaton, left, celebrates after scoring a goal in overtime against Penn during a regional semifinal at Goshen High School.

Amid best-ever seasons for their programs, Chesterton's Jack Eaton and Seth Conway, as well as Morton's Paul Bogarin, asserted themselves as all-state performers.

They added to their accolades this week, as the United Soccer Coaches named Eaton a Fall All-American on Monday, while Allstate named Conway and Bogarin to its junior-specific All-American team Tuesday. Eaton's recognition follows his Player of the Year honor from the Indiana Soccer Coaches Association.

“Jack's an amazing leader, and I think that he absolutely deserves the recognition of being an All-American and (Indiana) Player of the Year. He was All-Region,” Chesterton coach Lucas Sabedra said. “It's not easy being a defender and getting all that recognition.”

Eaton scored seven goals as a center back, including a match-winner against Penn in overtime of a Class 4A regional semifinal. A physical, athletic player unafraid to make aggressive tackles, Eaton served as a two-time captain for the 21-0-2 Trojans.

He was one of only two players from Indiana named to the team and joins Owen Hallas as the second Trojan to be named an All-American in three seasons by the United Soccer Coaches organization. Hallas was named an All-American in 2016, and Eaton said he learned from Hallas' approach.

“For all the hard work I've put in throughout my life to pay off, it's awesome,” Eaton said. “(Hallas) was always the hardest worker at practice, he was the most vocal, and I tried to do that last year and this year as a captain, similar to him.”

Bogarin and Conway were two of 75 boys players named to Allstate's list — two of four from Indiana — and could travel to Orlando for exhibition action at MLS All-Star 2019. Sabedra and Morton coach Chris Jagadich said Allstate will narrow its list down to 40 players who play in Orlando. Both Bogarin and Conway earned Honorable Mention All-State recognition for this season.

Jagadich said Bogarin has been diagnosed with a groin injury that will keep him off the field for six weeks, but that shouldn't affect his availability for the event. While MLS hasn't yet announced the date for All-Star 2019, the game typically falls in late July or early August.

Bogarin led Morton with 40 goals as an attacking midfielder and scored a match-winning penalty against Munster to earn the Governors their first sectional title in program history. Jagadich said Bogarin has played in Florida with his club team before and that his teammates knew they could count on him in the clutch.

“National recognition is not something that we've ever dealt with,” Jagadich said. “(Bogarin) has had so much success with the club that he has always stepped up in the big moments and big games.”

Conway finished second among Trojans with 18 goals and eight assists playing mostly on the wing. He scored two goals in Chesterton's wild 4-3 regional final win over Northridge and will anchor a Trojan squad that projects to return 78 percent of its goal output from the 2018 season.

“It's an absolutely amazing honor, and (Conway) has worked his butt off,” Sabedra said. “He had an amazing year, so I absolutely think he deserves it.”


Robbie Weinstein covers Porter County prep sports and Valparaiso University athletics for The Times. You can find the Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University grad posted up on the nearest field of play or in front of the TV.