SCOTTSBURG — For the second-straight match, Madison avenged a loss from earlier in the season and this time, it netted the Cubs a sectional soccer championship.
Madison scored two goals in less than a minute to finish off a dominating performance and defeat Silver Creek 2-0 at Scottsburg High School on Saturday afternoon.
The Cubs had lost to Creek 1-0 earlier in the season but much like a semifinal win over North Harrison, Madison used that earlier setback as motivation. The Cubs spent the majority of the game on the Dragons’ side of the ball and when the final horn sounded, the team rushed the field living the joy of finally breaking through.
“It has been a roller coaster all year for us. We’ve had some big ups and some big downs,” Madison coach Kyle Bipes said. “They started playing well at the right time and I told them that if we keep playing like this, we’re gonna get a sectional trophy and they did it today. It’s an awesome feeling, the boys are excited.”
Madison (9-8-1) held a 16-4 advantage in shots — including 7-1 on goal — but it wasn’t until the second half when they finally broke through.
The Cubs scored what turned out to be the winning goal in the 57th minute when Ramon Alvarado Paz streaked down the right sideline and sent a perfect cross into the box where Carter Schutte received it and fired it into the net. But the celebration was muted when Madison’s Henry Grote was issued a red card for language.
Grote, who had received a yellow card earlier in the game and despite the protestations from the Madison sideline — including another player who took the blame for the language — Grote was sent off and the Cubs were forced to play the rest of the game a man down.
Despite that setback, Madison never blinked. Less than a minute after the goal, the Cubs scored again, this time when Harrison Hall ripped through the Creek defense and beat the Dragon keeper with a long, well-placed shot to put Madison ahead 2-0. That celebration also ended in a card when Hall was given a yellow for taking off his shirt as he ran around the field.
“I don’t think the refs liked us very much today,” said Bipes, whose team received five total cards in the game. “(The team) were really upset ... it was a goal celebration, it wasn’t directed at anybody. That’s just tough but what can I say, we fought through it, we played hard for 80 minutes and came away with a sectional championship.”
With the way the defense was playing, the 2-0 lead was insurmountable and Madison easily ran out the clock. Silver Creek did not attempt a shot in the second half and in three sectional games, the Cubs allowed only 12 shots total.
“This defense has always been the strong point for this team and it showed tonight,” Bipes said. “I always knew we were gonna have a really good defense and the question was whether we could score or not, and I think we answered that the last few games.”
Madison will get a chance to host the regional semifinals on Thursday and welcome seventh-ranked Heritage Hills (17-1) to town in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The winner takes on either eighth-ranked Gibson Southern or West Vigo at Washington on Saturday in the regional championship.