Indiana soccer state pairings announced

A record-high number of teams will participate in the 19th Annual IHSAA Soccer State Tournaments, the parings for which were revealed today.

A total of 298 boys’ and 258 girls’ teams have been entered for postseason play, which kicks off with sectionals on Monday, Oct. 1. The state championship matches will be held at a new venue, IUPUI in Indianapolis, on Saturday, Oct. 27.

In Class 2A boys, top-ranked Carmel will open against host Lebanon in Sectional 17, while defending state champs Crown Point (ranked No. 10) will meet Sectional 4 host Merrillville in its first match.

Class A defending champ and No. 5 Fort Wayne Canterbury will play host to Manchester in Sectional 40, while No. 1-ranked Guerin Catholic will host University in Sectional 47.

On the girls’ side, Class 2A defending champs and No. 1- ranked Carmel will face a test from the off against No. 10 Westfield in Sectional 17.

Providence will begin its defense of last year’s Class A state championship against Southwestern (Hanover) in Sectional 45 at Switzerland County, while top-ranked Lawrenceburg will begin its postseason at home against Union County in the Sectional 44 opener.

Click here for comprehensive list of pairings

Hillsborough Report released

Here is the Hillsborough Report released today, which provides justice for the 96 supporters killed at the FA Cup semifinal game between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in 1989. Read it and try – very hard – not to get extremely angry with authority.Image

Brandy’s Assumption Rockets zoom to Eagle tourney win

Brandy Orth Becker

Brandy Orth Becker: excited.

New Albany’s Brandy Orth Becker played an instrumental part in Louisville Assumption High School’s impressive performance at the Zionsville Lady Eagle Invitational in Indiana over the weekend.

The tournament is widely considered one of the best around for high school girls and this year it included 23 teams for Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Maryland.

The Rockets from Louisville defeated three Indiana teams – West Lafayette (3-1), Roncalli (1-0) and McCutcheon (4-0) – to come away with the championship trophy in the Boone County Division.

“The Zionsville tournament was amazing,” said starting forward Orth Becker. “The talent this tournament brings always means great competition.”

She added she is “so excited” about this season, one which currently sees Assumption  ranked No. 2 in Kentucky behind last year’s state champion Notre Dame Academy.

“This is the year for the Rockets,” she said. “We came out with the goal to be our best. Our coaches Kenyon Meyer and Ollie Barber have taught us to ‘eat the elephant one bite at a time,’ or, take one game at a time.  We’re all of course looking down the road to a championship, but we know we can only get there one victory at a time.”

Since their 3-1 victory over local rival Sacred Heart in the Jenna Cooper Memorial Cleat Cup on August 26, the Rockets have won five games on the trot, including a 4-2 victory over another Louisville powerhouse, DuPont Manual, last night.

“The Cleat Cup game against Sacred Heart was especially an important victory,” said Orth Becker. “With 10 seniors on our team, we definitely wanted to keep the trophy this year.”

Time to get Passionately Pink


New Albany’s Rachel Bowden (left) and Floyd Central’s Lauren Wyatt (right) in action during 2010’s “Passionately Pink for the Cure” game. Both are expected to play prominent roles in this year’s matchup at Prosser Field on September 13. Photo by Greg Mengelt, Evening News & Tribune.

The fourth annual “Passionately Pink for the Cure” game between New Albany and Floyd Central girls will take place at Prosser Field on September 13, but a preceding fundraising concert is to be staged at Kye’s II in Jeffersonville this Friday (September 7, from 6-11 p.m.).

Entertainment will be provided by local bands The Hi-tops, The Juice Box Heroes and Rachel Timberlake.

There will also be a silent auction with all proceeds from the night going to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Breast Cancer Fund. Appetizers will be served by Tumbleweed.

“We have many local vendors involved and a big sponsorship from Lucas Oil,” said New Albany team manager, Rhonda Iglesias. “The concert is a fun way to raise money for a cause that affects us all.”

Iglesias said the boys’ teams are also getting involved this year and will be holding their own game the same night as the girls at Floyd Central.

“All teams will be wearing pink to show their support for the cause,” she said. “Each year we gain more support from the community to help us raise money for this cause and we’re excited to see what this year will bring.”

Tickets for the concert are $10 in advance ($12 at the door) and can be purchased at any Floyd Central or New Albany home soccer game, from performing artists, or by calling 502-724-1594.

Mixed results at Indiana Hoosier Cup

Floyd Central soccer

All set and on their marks for Floyd Central’s much anticipated annual encounter with Indiana Class A State champion Providence this evening (7 p.m.) are Highlander sisters Cylie and Christin Miller (left bottom and top) and Kady and Maggie O’Farrell (right bottom and top). Senior Cylie is a captain for varsity, while sophomore Christin is a captain for the junior varsity team. Other sisters on this year’s Highlander squad are Madison (junior) and Reagen (freshman) Oliver.

Three of the area’s high school teams participated at the 2012 Hoosier Cup in Bloomington, Indiana, this weekend with varying fortunes.

A total of 42 teams from all over Indiana and Kentucky competed in this year’s event in better-than-expected weather.

Floyd Central’s girls (4-0-2) are showing good form ahead of tonight’s home encounter against rival Providence ( 3-3), a game which kicks off at 7 p.m. The Highlanders went through the weekend unbeaten in their three games at Karst Farm Park.

Lewie Stevens’ charges opened up their account in the Ella Bull Pool with a 7-0 victory over Richmond on Friday. Ellie Stewart and Ali Host netted two goals apiece in the win over the Red Devils, with Kelsey Shireman, Christine Clark and Mariah Ferber adding the others.

However, the real heroics came Saturday when Floyd Central came back from a three-goal halftime deficit to tie Plainfield 3-3. Cylie Miller and Ferber scored on Lauren Wyatt assists to pull the Highlanders right back into the game.

Then McKenzie Garringer added a third on a Stewart assist to guarantee the Highlanders a share of the spoils.

Floyd Central rounded out the tournament with a creditable 1-1 tie against Castle, with Lauren Wyatt scoring the opener from a Stewart assist. Castle won the pool on goal difference.

On the boys’ side, Jeffersonville (4-3-2) went through the Warren Brown Pool without scoring, picking up a tie and suffering two losses.

The Red Devils opened up with a 3-0 defeat against Class 2A Sectional 30 rival and current champion Jasper on Friday, but bounced back to tie 0-0 with Richmond on Saturday morning.

Carson Webb’s boys then fell 2-0 to pool winners South Bend Adams in their final game.

Next up for Jeffersonville is a home matchup against Jennings County, winners of the Nick Matavuli Pool 2 at the Hoosier Cup, on Saturday (12 noon).

In the Michael O’Dea Pool, Providence (2-4-2)lost to Vincennes 6-0 but fought hard for a 3-3 tie with Heritage Christian with a brace of goals from Pierce Crawley and a third from John Murray. Evan Hollkamp had two assists, while Andrew Wimp had one.

Providence play at North Harrison tomorrow (Wednesday), before games at home to Decatur Central (Saturday) and away to New Albany (September 11).

High school soccer stars move on to next level

A record number of the area’s players start their collegiate soccer careers this month.

We count at least 14 who have joined various programs in 2012, ranging from NCAA Division I, II and III through to NAIA and NJCAA levels.

Floyd Central girls’ graduates account for a large chunk of those carrying on their soccer careers, with no fewer than six playing college ball this fall.

One of them, Loryn Queen, has already gotten off to a flyer, scoring in her very first game for Division I outfit University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

In the Lady Mocs’ 6-0 win over cross-town rival Tennessee Temple last week, Queen started off her college career in midfield, where she chipped in with an assist, before scoring when moved up front. 

“I am loving it so far,” said Queen, who was leading scorer for the Highlanders last year with 16 goals. “It’s a great challenge and it has pushed me to become more mature with the game. The coaches and upperclassmen have made being away from home much easier.”

Loryn Queen

Loryn Queen, pictured in action for University of Tennessee at Chattanooga against Tennessee Tech, one of three games she had minutes in as a freshman in the space of nine days. The Floyd Central graduate scored in her first game for the program against Tennessee Temple. Photo Courtesy of UTC.

It also helps that her old Javanon club teammate Logan Higgins from Assumption joins her on the program, while on the academic side, having a great physical therapy course was a great pull.

“And after visiting the school, I chose UTC because of the beautiful campus, the coaches and the players.  They were all so welcoming I felt right at home,” said Queen.

Casey Marlin, Providence’s all-time highest career scorer with 95 goals, has chosen to study and play soccer at Lenoir-Rhyne University, located in Hickory, North Carolina.

The program, part of the South Atlantic Conference, is coming off back-to-back regular-season championships, as well and subsequent berths in the NCAA Division II national tournament.

The Bears are ranked ninth in the country preseason and much is expected of the team under new coach Cally Morrill.

Marlin said Lenoir-Rhyne, while having a successful soccer program, also has a sense of community that appealed to her.

“I think it is a challenge to be seven hours away from home with people I don’t know in an area I’m not familiar with, but I think it will be a great growing and learning experience,” she said.

Casey Marlin

Providence all-time career goalscorer Casey Marlin (No. 10) kicks off her college career with Lenoir-Rhyne this week.

Marlin will once again wear the No. 10 jersey she so successfully adorned during high school — a career which culminated in an Indiana Class A State championship with the Pioneers.

She said she believes the experience has really helped her thus far in what has been a rigorous preseason.

“It’s probably the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life but it’ll pay off,” she said. “I do think college is tougher because there is much more time put into it and it is a higher level of playing, but I’d say I’m prepared for it thanks to my experiences with Providence.”

The Bears’ first game will see them take on Georgia College in the Lenoir Rhyne Classic on Friday, August 31.

Also starting its fall campaign on Friday is NCAA Division III outfit Transylvania University, ranked No. 1 in preseason polls to repeat its 2011 feat of finishing atop the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Amongst the Pioneers’ new recruits are Nick Blackwell (New Albany) and Brett Bass (Providence).

Blackwell, who plays with two-time national league runner-up and six-time state champion Javanon ‘94,  follows in the footsteps of Bulldog brothers Matt and Nick Karaffa, who both played with Transy.

“I am most thankful about getting an opportunity to play in college because it was always one of my goals to play college soccer and I am truly blessed to have this chance,” he said.

Blackwell said he chose Transylvania as it is a good blend of soccer and academics that will help him pursue his goals in life, one of which is coaching.

Nick Blackwell

Nick Blackwell (New Albany), who kicks off his college career this year with Transylvania, along with Brett Bass (Providence).

“I have taken part in coaching the New Albany boys’ team this summer with Dutch Vigar and Dietrich Rudolph, and while attending Transy, the players can help coach club at Lexington FC, which is a great way for me to help further my coaching career and help build a foundation for it.”

Bass, meanwhile, plays club soccer with United 1996, will become the second Providence defender to play with the Transylvania, the other having been Ryan Sparks.

Like many who have played at Transy, coach Brandon Bowman — now in his 10th year at the Lexington college — was a factor when Bass was choosing where to go.

“I met with Coach Bowman and really enjoyed my visit and loved the campus,” said Bass. “Transy has consistently been strong in soccer year after year under him and that influenced my decision.

“There are a lot of juniors here with a lot of experience and it’s been challenging as the game is faster. It’s nice also having other freshmen I know like Nick Blackwell and some United teammates here.”

The Pioneers’ first game is against Berea College at the Little Caesar’s College Showcase in Lexington on Friday, August 31.


Starting their collegiate soccer careers…

Brett Bass (Providence/Transylvania, Lexington, Ky.); Nick Blackwell (New Albany/Transylvania, Lexington, Ky.); Danny Laird (Floyd Central/Northern Kentucky, Ky.); Caleb Moore (Christian Academy of Indiana/Huntington, Ind.); Chris Smith (Christian Academy of Indiana/Huntington, Ind.); Gabe Stewart (St Xavier, Henryville native/Lipscomb, Nashville, Tenn.); Rebekah Burgan (Floyd Central & Jeffersonville/Parkland College, Ill.); Lauren Haley (Floyd Central/Ohio University, Ohio); Cassie Holland (Floyd Central/Asbury, Ky.); Casey Marlin (Providence/Lenoir-Rhyne, Hickory, N.C.); Taylor Patty (Floyd Central/Southern Indiana, Evansville, Ind.); Alysen Shireman (Floyd Central, 2011 graduate, first year at Campbellsville University, Ky.). Loryn Queen (Floyd Central/University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Tenn.); Ashley Walls (Christian Academy of Indiana, 2011 graduate, first year at Asbury, Ky.)






Wedding Bells!

Colin Bell and Morgan Young

Silver Creek boys’ varsity soccer coach Colin Bell and his sweetheart Morgan Young celebrate their marriage at St Joseph Hill Church in Sellersburg on Saturday. Submitted photo.

It was a case of wedding bells in more ways than one at the weekend when a high school boys’ varsity soccer coach married his sweetheart.

You might remember when we exclusively reported last October on Silver Creek’s Colin Bell proposing to his girlfriend, Morgan Young, during the halftime break of the Dragons’ sectional win against Rock Creek Academy.

With his side up by four goals, New Albany graduate Bell made his way over to the bleachers at Providence with his players, each one carrying a rose. There sat Young, herself a Pioneer graduate, who had been asked to bring a “forgotten” polo top of Colin’s to the game.

“The first guy put the vase down in front of her and the rest set their roses in the vase,” recalled Bell at the time. “I can remember seeing her in complete shock. … I had this whole thing prepared, comparing soccer to love, but I froze up. All I said was, ‘I love you with all my heart. Will you marry me?’”

Young, a labor and delivery nurse at University of Louisville Hospital, said at the time, “Colin completely caught me off-guard. I thought the roses were for all the guys’ parents.”

It was a story that received quite a response. Following our Kick It feature, the proposal tale went international.


Flashback: Colin proposes to Morgan at the Indiana Class A soccer sectionals last October. Submitted photo.

“I know some of my friends couldn’t believe that our story made Yahoo,” said Bell this week. “I had to show them the actual webpage so that they would believe me. Everyone has been real supportive and excited for both of us.”

On Saturday afternoon, the pair tied the knot at St Joseph Hill Church in Sellersburg.

Ahead of the wedding day, Bell said he was more excited than nervous.


“I tell (people) I have my one special person for myself and what’s there to be nervous about,” he said.

Unfortunately, Bell had to miss Silver Creek’s home game against South Ripley the morning of the wedding, but he will be around for the entire season as he and Morgan will wait until early next year to go on honeymoon.

“We figured when it is cold and snow is on the ground here, we could go and find some tropical weather somewhere else,” he said.

To matters on the field, Bell said he is feeling confident about the season ahead, one that kicked off last Thursday with a very encouraging 1-0 win over defending Class A sectional champion Christian Academy of Indiana.

He is assisted by Eric Stackhouse, a former teammate at Southern Indiana United and high school rival who went to Providence.

Bell said that he and Stackhouse are very encouraged by the progress they are seeing.

“We are returning eight starters from last year and we have 10 boys that are new to the Silver Creek soccer program,” he said.

“This shows that more boys are becoming interested in soccer and that our program is growing.”

Returning players to look out for are juniors Caleb Scarbrough and Noah Spencer.

“Caleb plays in our center midfield and excels both offensively and defensively,” he said. “Noah plays in one of our forward positions and has the ability to produce a lot of goals for us this season.”

One newcomer he is excited have is senior Trevor Spence.

“He’s what I call our ‘utility man’ in that he can play anywhere on the field and has a motor that does not stop,” said the Dragons’ coach.

Bell’s first game in charge as a married man will take place away to Mitchell HS this Thursday, followed by a home tie against Henryville on August 28. 








State finals get new venue

The IHSAA boys’ and girls’ soccer state tournaments will take place this year on the campus of IUPUI.

Following a one-year agreement with the college, the state finals are scheduled to be played at Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium on Saturday, October 27.

The Class A boys’ state championship will begin at 10:30 am and will be followed by the Class A girls final at 1 p.m., the Class 2A boys at 3:30 p.m. and the Class 2A girls at 6 p.m.

The boys’ and girls’ soccer state finals had been played at Kuntz Memorial Stadium in Indianapolis since the tournament’s inception in 1994.

The stadium includes a newly installed FieldTurf Revolution surface that is FIFA and NCAA-compliant at 115 x 75 yards and is home to IUPUI’s men’s and women’s soccer teams.

Sandra Walter, who administers both state tournaments as IHSAA assistant commissioner, said everyone involved is excited about the soccer-specific facility and the fan-friendly surroundings there.

“For the first time, we will provide practice space for our state finalists prior to the tournament and with the change to a FIFA-approved synthetic surface, we feel that the new accommodations will be well received and prove beneficial to our state qualifiers,” she said.

Christian Academy Warriors are hungry for more

Christian Academy of Indiana tasted postseason success for the first time last fall — and they are hungry for more.

The Warriors won the inaugural Class A Sectional 60 boys’ crown when beating Providence 2-0, a result which means they will no longer be considered a surprise packet.

Which is fine with coach Will Lorigan, who said he thinks the success of the team is the first fruit of a greater effort by the school’s athletics department to field teams that not only compete, but compete with excellence.

“If anything, winning a soccer sectional last year erased the mental hurdle some kids face when playing against good opponents,” he said.

“Needless to say last year’s success has instilled a greater hunger for the coming season in the returning players and given the new players an immediate goal to reach and then to push further during their soccer careers at Christian Academy.

“One of the things I tell my players is the difference between a good and great athlete is the top three inches — not necessarily how skilled you are but how mentally tough you are.”

Southern Indiana soccer

Christian Academy of Indiana’s Cole Ragland (right) and Jeffersonville High School goalkeeper Luis Arrendondo in action in their regular season opener on Monday. Photo by Christopher Fryer, Evening News & Tribune.

Last year, athletic director Chris Harper introduced soccer at elementary level to add to a middle-school program.

“Ultimately, the goal is to start producing quality athletes every year for every sport, with the elementary and middle school grades focusing on fundamentals, team work, character and spiritual growth,” said Lorigan. “By the time these kids reach high school they should be ready to plug into the junior varsity and varsity teams of every sport, continually raising the level of excellence that we compete at.”

There are 10 freshmen coming into the soccer program this year, the largest since the Warriors’ current senior class, and they will find the standard bar set that little bit higher.

“I challenged the current seniors to win a sectional title by the end of their senior year, and they achieved that in their junior year,” said Lorigan. “I’ll be doing the same with this freshman class but setting the standards higher because their foundation is stronger.”

New additions such as Nick Reed, James Martin, Cole Ragland and Garrett Couch will join some solid returning players, such as Caleb Ferree, Josh Moore, Quinn Banet and Justin Baird.

“We also have a new goalkeeper in junior Lucas Young who has big shoes to fill after Drew Mattingly and Tyler Stumler but we think he is equal to the task.” said Lorigan.

This year’s preparations included participating in the University of Louisville team camp this summer which Lorigan described as “an extraordinary experience.”

“The players learned a lot about team work, team goals, individual goals, and most importantly how to approach the game of soccer,” he said. “The camp was so beneficial we’ll be committing to it every year as we continue to build the program.”

Elsewhere, Providence will be keen to have a good season and complete it with its first sectional title since 2008, while Rock Creek Academy, Silver Creek, Henryville and Charelstown will be striving to improve their respective programs also.

New Albany, Jeffersonville and Floyd Central will be hoping for good runs in the Hoosier Hills Conference before attempting to wrestle the Class 2A Sectional 30 title from the grasp of Jasper.

Lauren Cheney considers future as new women’s soccer league is announced

Lauren Cheney

Lauren Cheney kisses her gold medal following victory over Japan last Thursday. Will she be part of the new women’s professional soccer league, announced on the same day as the U.S. victory over Japan?

Indiana’s Lauren Cheney, a member of the U.S. women’s soccer team, told the IndyStar she’s waiting to see if a new women’s league is formed before deciding to make her next career move.

Cheney told Bob Kravitz after the Americans’ 2-1 victory over Japan that she’s considering playing overseas.

The Ben Davis HS graduate also said she is contemplating going back to UCLA, where she’s halfway through an undergraduate degree in history.

Women’s Professional Soccer announced in May that it was folding after three seasons, leaving players without a club team to play for.

However, the hope is that the U.S. women’s success — not to mention the performance of bronze medal-winning Canada, who host the 2015 World Cup — will help a new league work.

Coincidentally, on the morning of last Thursday’s gold medal game, it was announced that a new professional women’s soccer league will kick off in the spring of 2013.

Three former WPS teams — Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars and Sky Blue FC — are expected to be part of the new league. There will also be a new franchise in Seattle, along with four to-be-named teams.

Meanwhile, the U.S. will face Costa Rica in its first match after winning Olympic gold at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., on Saturday, Sept. 1. It will be broadcast live on NBC.

Here’s a copy of the release announcing the new women’s professional soccer league.

Top Teams Finalizing the Formation of Women’s Soccer League

CHICAGO, IL (Aug. 9, 2012) – With the conclusion of both the WPSL Elite League and W-League semi-pro women’s playoffs and the ongoing thrilling performance of the U.S. Women’s National Team at the Olympic Games, five of the top women’s soccer teams in the country are announcing the formation of a new professional women’s soccer league that will start play in the spring of 2013.

Among the teams are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, a newly formed team in Seattle, and New Jersey’s Sky Blue FC, three out of four of which were members of the prior Women’s Professional Soccer league. Additionally, four other teams are finalizing their participation in the league including another team that will be located on the West Coast.

“All these teams are committed to playing with and against each other starting in 2013 and to working out the final details to allow a sustainable professional league for women’s soccer in the U.S.,” said Michael Stoller, Managing Partner of the Boston Breakers. “We want to emphasize this is not a competitor to any of the existing leagues, but rather this is a significant step up in the competitive level and professional standards and we expect to establish a natural relationship to allow teams to enter this new league and perhaps to fall back (self-relegate) to their prior league if they need a break from the higher spending and competitive requirements.”

Much work has already been done to structure the minimum standards, season length, player requirements and conferences. It is expected that several more teams will join the league in the coming month or two as discussions continue with several other ownership groups.

This league is being created by ownership groups within the existing leagues on the basis of understanding the successes and failures of the first two attempts at a professional league in America. A main goal for the league is to provide the best U.S. players with the ability to develop and train at a high level on a consistent basis. The team owners are driving this effort and are working to make sure the league will help prepare those players for international competition with the U.S. WNT.

The founders of the new league have been working with United Soccer Leagues (USL) and Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) to attempt to solidify the relationship and roles of the existing women’s leagues with the new league and participation for all teams that elect to meet the minimum standards. This is an acknowledgement on the long-term success and sustainability of semi-pro women’s soccer leagues in this country.

WPSL has participated in the planning for the new league, “We have supported women’s soccer for decades and are very proud of our creation of the WPSL Elite League this year and the role we have been able to play in bringing this new league together for 2013. We are committed to easy movement for teams between WPSL and this new league and we will also provide a place for reserve teams to play,” said Jerry Zanelli, founder and President of WPSL. “Many details remain to be worked out but we will support the new league in its growth and are happy to see an unambiguous future for women’s professional soccer in the United States.”

“We are excited to bring the highest level of women’s soccer to Seattle,” said Bill Predmore, President of Seattle-based digital marketing agency, POP, and the leader of the ownership group for the new Seattle club. “Seattle has a long history of enthusiastic support for professional soccer, which we hope will provide us with a strong base of fans for the new women’s club.”

According to Arnim Whisler, owner of the Chicago Red Stars, “This is an inclusive not an exclusive effort. If teams want to join and can meet the minimum standards then we welcome them. This league is for the players that want to play and be on the WNT radar, the fans that continue to support us despite our false starts in the past, and the teams that are committed to elite women’s soccer. We have been very happy with the WPSL Elite season that we just completed and cannot thank Jerry enough for his providing so many teams the place to play this year on such short notice and we see this as a natural extension of that model to a more permanent league and infrastructure.”

In the near future, there will be more detailed discussions with U.S. Soccer on the proper sanctioning process.


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