Stellar Bellmont soccer seasons end at regional openers
MANEUVERING THE PITCHâ€” Bellmontâ€™s Joel Harvey controls the dribble between two Canterbury defenders, while Alex Diaz (#1) awaits the pass. The Braves fell to the Cavaliers in regional action Thursday night 3-0. (Photo by Kalvin Fiechter)
FORT WAYNE—The Braves squared off against Indiana's class 1A repeat state champions on the soccer pitch Thursday night eventually losing a 3-0 battle in the opening game of regionals.
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Coming in with their fourth sectional title in school history, Bellmont played physical with Canterbury in the first game at Carroll but the talented 2A school, who made the lead to 2A soccer this season, made their mark in the first 30 seconds of play.
Jacob Fritz pushed a goal through on a nice pass from Britt Watts to put the Cavaliers on the board early. The goal came quickly after a Bellmont turnover in the opening seconds.
"After the first goal the guys got a little deflated but once they realized we were still in it they picked up the defense," BHS coach Jake Briede commented. "Everybody thrived off of wanting to play better and beat Canterbury."
Despite the score, Bellmont regained focus and stayed disciplined on the defensive. The ball would remain on the Canterbury side of the field for most of the opening stanza. The Cavs had 11 more shots on goal in the half and Braves keeper, Caleb Schell, was solid with six saves to keep the game locked at 1-0 heading into the half.
"There were things we needed to change at halftime but we felt pretty good about keeping them to one goal at the half," Briede noted.
At 30 minutes left in the match, the Cavaliers got close to a score on a shot rifled to the left side of the goal but Schell was there for the diving stop. The ball trickled free, however, and Canterbury took another whack at it. From his knees, Schell made a second stop that earned an ovation from the Bellmont faithful.
It would be short-lived, however, as four minutes later, Watts took advantage of a hands penalty near the goal and sank a curving shot into the upper-right side of the goal just out of Schell's reach to make it 2-0.