Capehart’s late OT goal lifts Chesterton to first state championship
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.”
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.
Robbie Capehart (7) and Bailey Arthur (11) celebrate Chesterton’s win after Capehart headed home a corner kick from Arthur in overtime.