BROWNSBURG — As the boys’ soccer sectional kicked off at Brownsburg Wednesday night, two spots for today’s 2 p.m. final were on the line.
Avon took on Mooresville in the opening contest while Brownsburg played county rival Plainfield.
Mooresville kept Avon out of its goal for the entire first half as the Orioles could not get their shots to the back of the net, despite dominating the time of possession. Avon (17-0-1) stayed patient and came away with a 1-0 victory.
“I don’t take anything for granted and Mooresville played hard and got numbers behind the ball,” Avon coach Phil Schmidt said. “The guys were pressing a little and at 0-0 and the longer it goes, Mooresville keeps pressing and I think the guys were a little frustrated. We tried to do a little too much at times and missed some shots we’d have liked to make.”
Noah Zorniger broke the scoreless tie with 31:50 left in the second half as he slid a ball past Mooresville keeper Michael Ronan.
“It started working from the mid and a through ball came, I slid and hit it under the keep,” Zorniger said. “We came out real lazy, not ready to play, but the second half we picked it up a little bit.”
Avon, ranked second in the state and nation, has won the past five sectional titles, however, Schmidt and Zorniger both said it’s one game at a time.
“We’ve got big goals and we just have tried to focus on the next game and whoever we play will give us a great run on Saturday,” Schmidt said. “We haven’t talked about the rankings a single bit. That’s something the fans and parents talk about and it’s a lot of fun after the season to reflect. It doesn’t win you any games along the line.”
Brownsburg downed Plainfield 2-1 in the regular season, and came back with a 3-1 victory over the Quakers Wednesday night.
“I think we came out focused, felt like we minimized mistakes and capitalized on the opportunities that we were given,” Brownsburg coach Todd Frost said.
Brownsburg struck first on a penalty kick from Jack Griffith with less than 10 minutes left in the half. The PK was set up by a foul called on Plainfield’s Logan Davis as he was tangled up with Brownsburg’s Miles Hudson in the box.
Plainfield answered with just over a minute remaining in the half as a long indirect kick from Nate Dunn found teammate Connor Cutler, who took advantage of a loose ball and sent it into the net.
Brownsburg’s Michael Young scored with just under 33 minutes left in the match after a corner ball came out to the top of the box. Young sent in a hard grounder to the back, right corner of the net for a 2-1 lead.
Griffith scored his second goal of the night to put the game away for the Bulldogs with 10:38 remaining off an assist from Young.
“We just couldn’t make enough plays to get the win,” Plainfield coach David Knueve said.
Plainfield loses eight seniors to graduation.
“The seniors were the heart and direction of this team and they’re going to be greatly missed in the future,” he said.