BROWNSBURG — After his team escaped with a 1-0 victory against Danville earlier this season, Plainfield boys’ soccer coach Dave Knueve knew Monday’s sectional opener against the Warriors would be a battle.
The teams went to halftime scoreless, but Plainfield scored two goals over the final 18 minutes for a 2-0 win to reach the second round.
“Danville’s a real good team, and they put a lot of pressure on us mentally and physically,” Knueve said. “We were able to find the back of the net twice. I’m sorry to see their seniors moving on, but I’m happy for us to be moving on.”
Despite six corner kicks, Danville had just one shot on goal, as Plainfield defenders thwarted many would-be opportunities in the box.
“That’s what we talk about defensively, getting your body between the ball and the goal, and we were able to do that quite a few times,” Knueve said. “It was a big part of the victory.”
In addition to coping with Plainfield’s defense, Danville had a handful of open shots miss their intended mark.
“We had a couple games like this, where the balls went just wide, we kicked it over from inside the six and just couldn’t score,” Danville coach Drew Brokamp said. “We had good chances. They finished two of theirs and we didn’t.”
Plainfield had two good scoring looks in the first half, but a save by Danville’s Zach Blankenship denied Kaleb Preston, and a shot by Ryan Wolfe hit the crossbar.
Danville’s best opportunity came with 14 minutes left in the opening half, when Christian Mason fed Jacob Verble, but Verble’s shot sailed just over the goal.
After near-misses by Wolfe and Preston early in the second half, Caleb Law scored Plainfield’s first goal with 18 minutes left.
Danville nearly tied it three minutes later when Tanner Perkins headed a perfect corner kick by Daniel Gerber, but it just missed the goal.
Plainfield iced it with six minutes remaining when Connor Cutler took a left-to-right cross from Law in the box and put it in.
Brokamp said Danville’s season, which saw the Warriors go 13-4 and win the Sagamore Conference for the first time in a decade, was memorable throughout.
“I’ll remember this team, especially for the 11 seniors we had,” Brokamp said. “I think a lot of people didn’t expect us to be this good after losing a lot of key players from last year, but these guys stepped up.”
Plainfield (11-5-2) will face Brownsburg at 7 p.m. Wednesday, with a chance to avenge an earlier 2-1 loss to the Bulldogs.
“It was a good match the first time, and I hope to see the same type of competition along with us getting the win on Wednesday,” Knueve said.