CG men’s lacrosse to host second round playoff game against Saint Joseph


Sam Findley

Sophomore Jake Stiles surveys the field as Center Grove lacrosse goes on to beat Saint Joseph 8-7 in one of their matchups earlier in the season. Stiles would add a goal to the Trojans’ tally as they staved off a late comeback from the Runners.

Evan Neiswanger, Staff Writer

GREENWOOD – While many students will be getting ready for summer vacation, the Center Grove men’s lacrosse team will be gearing up for their second-round home game against South Bend Saint Joseph on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. 

The Trojans are coming off the most successful season in program history with a 12-4 record, and an 11-1 in-state record, helping them grab this year’s No. 3 seed in the state tournament. The three seed came with a bye in the first round, where St. Joe defeated Crown Point 12-4, sending St. Joe to the second round where they’ll meet the Trojans.

“To get to the three seed took a lot of work on behalf of the team. From conditioning practices all the way back in the late fall, to last minute position changes,” said senior co-captain Collin Carroll. “To be the three seed means that this is the closest Center Grove lacrosse has ever been to winning a state championship”

The Trojans went into last week’s final regular season game against No. 8 Westfield knowing they not only had to win but had to win by five goals or more in order to secure their seed. Center Grove won 13-4 in a dominant performance that gave the team momentum heading into this weekend’s game.

“Knowing we had to beat Westfield by five [goals] was a little stressful,” said Carroll. “Through scouting and knowing we have weapons on the team that Westfield couldn’t stop reassured us going into the game.”

Center Grove and St. Joe have played each other once this season, where the Trojans held off a late push by the Indians to secure an 8-7 win. With St. Joe beating Crown Point handily in the first round of the playoffs, coach Sam Margulis says they are ready for a rematch.

“We are ready for a rematch. We did not play our best game the first time and are ready to improve,” said Margulis. “A win Saturday puts us in the final four. Anything can happen at that point.”

The winner of this game will move on to the semi-final and likely play back-to-back defending state champion Hamilton Southeastern. The Royal’s last bout against Center Grove was a 14-2 win over the Trojans. However, a lot has changed for both programs over the course of their combined 34 games since last meeting one another. 

It’s been a memorable season for the Trojans, and senior co-captain Harry Hummel predicts the best is yet to come. 

“I think it’s been awesome to see this program be where we are today, considering where we came from — and I’m very grateful to have gotten in on the ground floor and helped mold what the program is today,” Hummel said. “It would feel amazing to make a semi state run, and I think our team this year is [more than] capable. It would mean everything to everyone to achieve something that really is bigger than us.”