South boys soccer faces top teams in the state at the Hoosier Cup


Logan Hanchett, Editor

It just simply wasn’t South’s day. At 9 a.m. Saturday morning, the Panthers kicked off a rematch with the team that knocked them out at semi-state last season, Zionsville. South headed into the matchup after winning a huge contest last night, having beaten the No. 1 (2A) Washington Hatchets 2 to 1. 

Zionsville got ahead midway through the first half to take a 1 to 0 lead. South’s offense struggled immensely to get any shots on goal, with the Eagles defense swarming the ball. Coach Sparks tried rotating strikers as senior James Lundell, senior Sam Roberts, junior Kamal Yarbough, sophomore Cooper Fox, and junior Miles York all saw substantial minutes. 

Sparks even switched to a 3-back defense to counter Zionsville’s 4-3-3 setup, but the defense struggled to contain Zionsville’s counterattack. 

The midfield unfortunately had to deal with another important injury again, as senior Keegan Deemer has been limited by a leg injury. He worked through it to play most of the game, however.

In the second half, Zionsville extended their lead to 2 to 0 on an uncontested shot that found the top right of the net. South was able to get near the net on several chances but simply couldn’t get a clean look. Then the Eagles made it 3 to 0 after a counterattack netted a tricky shot from the side that went in. 

South’s players were clearly frustrated after the team’s first loss of the season.

“No comment,” said senior attacking mid Grant Yeagley.

“I wasn’t satisfied with how our defense played,” said senior center back Nathan Zeichner.

South has one game left in what’s been a grueling three days. They’ll take on John Adams High School (South Bend, Ind.) at 2:30 p.m.

After a much needed break, South took on South Bend Adams and was able to take care of business, beating the Eagles 2-0. It was a performance that proved to be solid all around and encouraged optimism for the future.

Coach Kevin Sparks rolled out the usual starters for the first half which allowed South to jump out to a 1-0 lead at the half. Colin Doyle, Nathan Zeichner, and Josh Davis bounced back from allowing three goals against Zionsville and were able to control the flow of the first half on defense, despite a couple of Eagle shots just missing and bouncing off the crossbar.

On the offensive side of things, senior striker James Lundell was able to gained a fortuitous double-doink goal for the lone goal of the first half which was apparently enough for Sparks to pull most of his starters.

In the second half, the reserves proved that they can be just as impressive as the starters with suffocating defense and methodical offense. Of the reserves, Reid Silvers and Nick Swank appeared the most varsity-ready as Silvers was able to net a goal on South’s counterattack towards the middle of the second half.

Goalie Nick Cannon was especially impressed with the play of South’s younger players. “Great second half. The subs played great,” said Cannon.

Silvers agreed with Cannon and thought the “subs stepped up big time to secure the win.”