Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

November 3, 2013

Oriole boys fall short in 2A finale

By Brent Glasgow
Hendricks County Flyer

INDIANAPOLIS — After Avon’s girls notched a Class 2A title earlier on Saturday at IUPUI, the dream scenario of two state championships in one day was there for the Oriole boys.

The dream didn’t come true.

Avon went to overtime tied 1-1 with Crown Point, but gave up two goals in the first OT and fell 3-1 to the now two-time state champs.

“I’m just really proud of our season and proud of our guys,” Avon coach Phil Schmidt said. “I give Crown Point a lot of credit. They’re a great team and deserved to win tonight. They played their hearts out, too, and made the plays necessary in overtime to win it.”

Avon standout Jordan Kleyn went down toward the end of regulation after taking an elbow to the head, which left an instant mark on his face. Kleyn tried to go in OT, but came off due to wooziness.

Crown Point (23-0-1) took the lead in the first overtime on a goal credited to Nate Brower. Replays suggested the ball deflected off Brower’s arm and into the goal as he and others fought for position.

“The ref called it the way he called it, so without seeing it on tape, nobody could make much of that,” Schmidt said. “My goalie said he wasn’t sure it went in, so we’ll leave it at that.”

Brower said he didn’t feel the ball go off any body part.

“I don’t know what happened,” Brower said. “I went up for the header and I guess it went in.

“I went up there, then fell down and started cramping, so I don’t remember.”

Just over a minute after that goal, Crown Point scored on a shot from the left side of the box by Brad Kurtz for the final margin.

Like Kleyn, Avon’s Noah Zorniger showed the marks of a physical battle, and said the Orioles had plenty to be proud of.

“It’s an achievement,” Zorniger said of Avon’s 20-1-1 season. “We’d never been here before and we’re the first team to do it. We’re so close as a team. They’re like my family.”

Bay Kurtz broke through for Crown Point with 13 minutes left in the first half, when he worked through multiple defenders at the top of the box and ripped a shot by Avon goalkeeper Tyler Shanahan.

Off a free kick by Quinton Bridegroom one minute before halftime, Taylor Kleyn headed in a deflection to tie it.

Trevor Semakula fed Jonathan Kopp for a one-on-one shot 12 minutes into the second half, but Kopp’s shot to the top of the frame was deflected by Crown Point keeper Connor Keaveney.

Avon’s passing was crisp over the final 54 minutes, but the Orioles couldn’t find the angles to get anything in goal.

“It was a great season, and this is the best team I’ve ever been around,” Kopp said. “We’re all friends on and off the field. It’s not the way we wanted to end it, but I have no regrets.”

After the contest, Kopp was presented with the 2A Boys Mental Attitude Award.

“It’s a great honor. I didn’t think I was going to get it,” Kopp said. “I was really shocked, and it helps brighten the day, even though we lost.”