Trojans, Greyhounds match up in MIC battle tonight

Sam Findley, Sports Editor

When Carmel and Center Grove matched up last season, Carmel came away with a 3-0 victory. Tonight, No 2. Carmel and No 14. Center Grove face off with CG looking to grab its first MIC victory of the year against the Greyhounds at 7:15 p.m. tonight. 

Head Coach Jameson McLaughlin has used practice to address the team’s offensive struggles, with Center Grove failing to score more than two goals in four of the first five games.

“This is a big game but it will be our fifth game in seven days.  That limits what we can or should do physically in practice to ensure we have full energy for the game, McLaughlin said. “We have discussed the mental preparation for the game and also worked on finishing the ball.  We have been in all our games but have struggled to score so hopefully this will be the game that comes together.”

Carmel senior Will Latham has scored three points, a combination of goals and assists, including two in the team’s first MIC conference game, a 5-0 win over Ben Davis. Junior Wesely McCrea, who plays center back for CG, knows him and his fellow center backs will play a key role in the team’s success tonight.

“First, they have to get through the rest of our team before reaching our back line, and then as the last line of defense, it’s extremely important to make sure they don’t get past the center backs. If they happen to, our goalie, Caiden Stoneburner, always steps up and makes a great save, but the hope is for him to not have to do that because our defense has stopped them,” McCrea said. “It will be very important to make sure Latham doesn’t get time on the ball to do something. We’ll make sure someone is always marking him at all times to avoid him getting the ball.” 

This is probably the game that all of us want to win the most, so everything we do before is in preparation for Carmel.

— Caden York

The Greyhounds aren’t a one trick pony on the offensive side of the ball, as senior Will Morgan has also scored three goals so far this season.

Trojan senior Jeet Kekre said the team needs to come out aggressive against the Greyhounds.

“We just have to defend as a team and contain each player. We can’t give these players space and time to play the ball, and we have to be aggressive,” Kekre said. “Being aggressive is important because it controls the tempo of the game and shows who’s in control of the game.”

On the offensive side of the ball Center Grove made a recent lineup change to strengthen offense. Junior forward Landen Montfort said he hopes to see an improvement in the offense due to the lineup shifts in the Carmel game. 

“For the game, we moved one more person up top so the team could have more options when going forward,” Montfort said. “We intend to use this other person as a strong asset in the offense and attacking third.”

Junior Preston Fisher has been explosive off the bench this season with three goals and one assist. The right wing started his last two games and says the team has to have high possession soccer if they want to win. 

“Well, besides, just remaining cool under pressure, I feel we have to remain calm under pressure and play smart,” Fisher said. “We can’t make stupid mistakes and panic, and [we have to] do what we know is right. We have to do what we practice like passing, shooting, through balls, counter attacks and not dribbling.”

“This is probably the game that all of us want to win the most, so everything we do before is in preparation for Carmel. To beat them would prove to our team the grit and strength that we have this year,” junior Caden York said. “We have always had this anger for Carmel and past years this game has always been intense. We just want to prove to ourselves and everyone that we can still beat this big school.”