High­way Rob­bie-ery

Cape­hart’s late OT goal lifts Ch­ester­ton to first state cham­pi­onship

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - Sports - By Michael Osipoff

IN­DI­ANAPO­LIS — Rob­bie Cape­hart tweaked a fa­mil­iar script for Ch­ester­ton in Sat­ur­day’s Class 3A state cham­pi­onship game at IUPUI’s Car­roll Sta­dium.

Over­time. Set pieces. Wins. The ju­nior mid­fielder headed home a cor­ner kick from Bai­ley Arthur with 27.4 sec­onds left in the sec­ond half of over­time as the Tro­jans downed Zionsville 1-0.

Sopho­more goal­keeper Char­lie Ea­ton made two spec­tac­u­lar saves in reg­u­la­tion to keep Ch­ester­ton (21-0-2) in the game.

Usu­ally, se­nior de­fender Jack Ea­ton has been the fin­isher on cru­cial restarts for the Tro­jans, who won in OT for the third time in the post­sea­son plus an­other in penalty kicks.

This time, it was Cape­hart, who sent un­de­feated and top-ranked Ch­ester­ton to its first state ti­tle af­ter run­ner-up fin­ishes in 2007 and 2016.

“We work on cor­ners in prac­tice all the time,” Cape­hart said. “It’s my job to make the near-post run. I knew Bai­ley was go­ing to get it there, it was just a mat­ter if I would make the run. I made the run, the ball was per­fect and I con­verted. It’s sur­real.”

As sev­eral play­ers for No. 2 Zionsville (17-2-3) ap­peared to be ap­peal­ing to of­fi­cials for a goal kick, Arthur — a mid­fielder/ for­ward, one of Ch­ester­ton’s three se­nior starters and a tr­i­cap­tain — didn’t hes­i­tate to serve the ball from the right cor­ner.

“I was just go­ing to give it every­thing I had and try to find some­one’s head, and I did,” Arthur said. “Good thing Rob­bie was there. It was in­sane.”

Char­lie Ea­ton res­cued Ch­ester­ton with two vi­tal saves.

First, eight min­utes into the sec­ond half, he fully ex­tended and dove to his left to de­flect Evan Miller’s shot that seemed tick­eted for the right cor­ner.

Then, with seven min­utes left, he dove and got his right hand on Jack Sea­mands’ shot from close range, hav­ing been lean­ing left in the di­rec­tion of Chris Free­man’s cross.

“I made the right calls on them,” Char­lie Ea­ton said. “I got my foot­work right and my in­stincts were on point in those mo­ments. I’m just glad I could help bring one to Ch­ester­ton.”

Ch­ester­ton coach Lu­cas Sabedra quipped that Ea­ton earned a full schol­ar­ship with his sin­gu­lar per­for­mance.

“Char­lie was our MVP,” Sabedra said. “He played ab­so­lutely bril­liant. He’s so ath­letic and to have those in­stincts — he’s only 6-feet tall, but he cov­ers the en­tire span of the goal.”

It took sig­nif­i­cant work for Ea­ton even to play, need­ing treat­ment through­out the week. He suf­fered cuts across both legs and a deep bruise to his left thigh in Ch­ester­ton’s semis­tate win against Fort Wayne Car­roll on the re­ceiv­ing end of a foul that drew a red card.

“I wanted to play with my brother (Jack) — there would be no big­ger stage,” Char­lie Ea­ton said. “I wanted to help him and my team.

“The love is all there with fam­ily, but the whole team has a bond. They were be­hind me the whole time. I tried to do every­thing I could to get back on the field.”

The Tro­jans were with­out ju­nior for­ward Seth Con­way, their sec­ond-lead­ing scorer, be­cause of an ac­cu­mu­la­tion of yel­low cards. Ryan O’Dell, a 5-foot-2 fresh­man, earned the start and ex­celled.

Sabedra, a 2006 Ch­ester­ton grad­u­ate who spent five sea­sons as an as­sis­tant be­fore tak­ing over as coach, pointed to Con­way when asked what the ti­tle meant to him.

“Seth Con­way made the goal that we wanted to go un­de­feated and he be­lieved we could do it,” Sabedra said. “We didn’t have him on the field (Sat­ur­day), but this win was for one of our key play­ers who made that goal and we made it hap­pen. He’s just as big a role as any­one in this sys­tem.”

Ch­ester­ton beat Crown Point in over­time in a sec­tional semifi- nal and Penn in OT in a re­gional semi. The Tro­jans topped Car­roll in penalty kicks in a semis­tate.

“We’ve grinded out a lot of close games through­out the tour­na­ment,” Cape­hart said. “It’s kind of our motto — we don’t stop fight­ing, the game’s never over.”

SUZANNE TEN­NANT/POST-TRI­BUNE PHO­TOS

Se­nior de­fender Jack Ea­ton, mid­dle, one of Ch­ester­ton’s tri-cap­tains, lifts the Class 3A cham­pi­onship tro­phy on Sat­ur­day. It is Ch­ester­ton’s first state ti­tle af­ter run­ner-up fin­ishes in 2007 and 2016.

SUZANNE TEN­NANT/POST-TRI­BUNE

Rob­bie Cape­hart (7) and Bai­ley Arthur (11) cel­e­brate Ch­ester­ton’s win af­ter Cape­hart headed home a cor­ner kick from Arthur in over­time.

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