INDIANAPOLIS – It was exactly the miscue Warsaw boys soccer coach Scott Bauer was looking to avoid against 2011 state runner-up Columbus North.
After the No. 2 Tigers failed to clear a ball from their end early in the match, the No. 6 Bulldogs scored and then held on for a 1-0 victory in the Class 2A state championship game Saturday at IUPUI.
It was the mistake we were hoping to stay away from in the first 10 minutes, Bauer said. I thought that was when we were the most vulnerable because they have been here.
Keaton Voegerl collected the ball near the end line and got a crossing pass in front of the net for Brad Shaw, who converted the error into a goal with 8:05 gone in the first half.
It looked to me like my brother (Stephen Kolbe) wasn’t used to the bounce on the turf (at Carroll Stadium), and the kid got it and got the cross and the other guy was there, Warsaw senior Nathan Kolbe said. They capitalized on our mistake.
Warsaw didn’t fold, but it was an uphill climb afterward.
I was pleased with the way my guys responded, Bauer said. Rather than sinking from the challenge they created opportunities.
Warsaw was making its first trip to the boys soccer state championship game.
It’s definitely been an incredible journey, Nathan Kolbe said. I am glad all the hard work we put in got us to the state championship, win or lose. Our main goal was getting past semistate, so accomplishing that isn’t the worst thing.
Despite outshooting Columbus North 13-10, including 8-2 in the first half, Warsaw couldn’t take advantage. It was only the 11th goal the Tigers had given up all season.
Soccer’s not a fair game, Bauer said. Columbus North may have thought they outplayed us, but from my perspective we created more. It just wasn’t our day. Columbus North played very good defense, and we don’t get shut out very often.
The Tigers held a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks.
I had two opportunities that were in front of the goal that will haunt me for the rest of my life, Nathan Kolbe said. Two shots that I should have put in, and overall we had some close ones that we should have put in.
The second-ranked Tigers finished the season 13-9-2 but lost on the field only twice because of seven forfeits that were discovered at the end of the regular season.
Warsaw also had to deal with injuries and suspensions but managed to put all that behind it in a run to the state title game.
Once this bitterness leaves our mouth, we will look back on this and see that we had fun this year, Bauer said.
The Bulldogs (17-1-4) won their first soccer state championship.