Southwestern’s boys soccer team will play in the regional tonight for the first time in history. Members of the sectional-winning team are (from left): Sitting — Cam Rogers; Kneeling — Peter Carrell, Michael Hedges, Chris Webster, Edi Tovar, Nathan Anderson, Robbie Stoner, Gage Hartman, Rodrigo Sosa-Mandez, John Vest and Daniel Webster; Standing — Stephen Spray, assistant coach Kevin Dillman, Matthew Hedges, Mitchel Swafford, Shawn Blias, Nick Huttsell, athletic director Tom Scroggins, Christian Thornberry, Austin Spray, Chris Stewart, Ese Taylor, Coleman Jackson and head coach Dave Bramer. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Southwestern’s boys soccer team will play in the regional tonight for the first time in history. Members of the sectional-winning team are (from left): Sitting — Cam Rogers; Kneeling — Peter Carrell, Michael Hedges, Chris Webster, Edi Tovar, Nathan Anderson, Robbie Stoner, Gage Hartman, Rodrigo Sosa-Mandez, John Vest and Daniel Webster; Standing — Stephen Spray, assistant coach Kevin Dillman, Matthew Hedges, Mitchel Swafford, Shawn Blias, Nick Huttsell, athletic director Tom Scroggins, Christian Thornberry, Austin Spray, Chris Stewart, Ese Taylor, Coleman Jackson and head coach Dave Bramer. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Southwestern's boys soccer team will be blazing new trails this week when the Rebels open regional play at Switzerland County tonight.

Southwestern earned the first sectional title in the program's history on Saturday and will now face Trinity Lutheran in the regional semifinals at 5 p.m. today in Vevay. Providence will face No. 15 Jac-Cen-Del in the second semifinal.

After years of coming close but failing to get over the hump and watching teams have success at the next level, Southwestern now has a chance to write its own storybook ending.

"We have to go in prepared. We can't slack off at all," said junior Coleman Jackson. "We have to work very hard and show up ready to play."

Southwestern cruised through the regular season with a 12-3-3 record with its only losses coming to Madison, Shawe and Jac-Cen-Del.

Part of the reason for the Rebels' success has been its high-octane offense, which has accounted for 79 goals this season for an incredible 4.4 goals per game average.

Jackson leads the pack with 30 goals in 18 games and coupled with four assists, he leads the team with 64 points. But Southwestern is not a one-man show. Freshman Edi Tovar had 15 goals and seven assists while exchange student Michael Arberg and Austin Spray have eight goals each. Cam Rogers leads the team with nine assists.

That offense has allowed Southwestern to survive games in which scoring has been at a premium. Against Rising Sun in the sectional finals on Saturday, Jackson scored the only goal the Rebels needed in the 1-0 win. When Southwestern needs a score, more times than not, it has been able to get the goal.

Southwestern and Trinity Lutheran have faced off once this year already with the Rebels picking up a 2-1 win to claim the Southern Indiana Classic on Sept. 14. Jackson had both goals in that victory with Spray getting both assists.

While the head-to-head result is telling, Southwestern coach Dave Bramer was quick to dismiss any idea that the matchup could give any bearing on how the regional contest will go.

"That was the second game of the day for both teams and you never know how teams are going to react going through that," Bramer said. "But we know that we're going to be competitive. Hopefully, we'll keep our heads up and keep working like we have been."

Trinity Lutheran enters the regional with an 10-8 record but has been playing its best soccer in the second half of the season. The Cougars and Rebels do have a common opponent, Rising Sun, which Trinity lost to 5-1 way back in the first game of the season. In addition to the sectional championship meeting, Southwestern beat the Shiners 5-1 in their regular season finale in Hanover and tied Rising Sun 1-1 on the road in September.

Trinity trounced Salem 5-1 in the sectional championship game on Saturday. Stone Riddle scored two goals while Rob Setty had a goal and two assists for the Cougars.

Should Southwestern advance it would play the winner between Jac-Cen-Del and Providence in the regional finals on Saturday.

While the Rebels did not face Providence this season they did play Jac-Cen-Del twice, losing 6-3 but also tying the Eagles 3-3.