In a year of new possibilities thanks to an addition of a new class, the Castle boys soccer team has made their way to the state final.
The Knights took on North Central (Indianapolis) in the semistate final after defeating both Perry Meridian and Bloomington South in the regional. Castle took on North Central in Lawrenceburg for the southern region semistate Saturday as the underdog.
In the final poll for the regular season, the Knights were ranked 13th. Bloomington South, who Castle had fallen to earlier in the season, was ranked fifth.
However, the Knights were ready for the Panthers and pulled out the win in overtime in order to take on the fourth ranked North Central Panthers.
In a tough defensive battle, it was the Panthers who took the first goal in the first half of the game. It was the one shot out of eight on the game that Castle junior Michael Bertram allowed through.
The Knights started the second half ready to dominate possession and catch up to the Panthers, but North Central was already working to put their lead out of reach. With just over six minutes left in the game, junior Simon Paez sent the ball flying past the Panther's goal keeper with an assist from junior Brock Wandel to tie the game.
As everyone was watching the time fall off the clock, spectators were refreshing their memories on how extra time would work in the semistate matchup, but the Knights didn't want overtime. With only eight seconds left in the game senior Ben Welp took a
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free kick and sent the ball flying through the wall of players and through the protection of the Panther's goal keeper to take the lead.
North Central took possession in the last few seconds and tried to send the ball downfield, but Bertram was ready and in possession. With no Panthers around, he picked up the ball and held it as the game ended leaving Castle with a victory and a ticket to the state finals.
Now, the Knights will take on third ranked West Lafayette Harrison. Harrison defeated No. 2 team Hamilton Southeastern in the regional final and went on to defeat No. 15 Goshen in the northern region semistate. Harrison has a 19-1-2 record on the season compared to Castle's 17-4-1 record.
The game will take place at 6 p.m. Eastern at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis's Michael A. Carrol Track and Soccer Stadium in Indianapolis.