BY DEAN HOCKNEY
KOKOMO, Ind. – While fans were still settling into their seats, the Purple Tiger faithful erupted in cheers 27 seconds into the IHSAA Class A Northwestern Boys Soccer Sectional championship. Robert Olsen took a throw-in from Blaine Brutus and scored the only goal the No. 11-ranked Tigers would need en route to a 9-0 victory over Tipton to hoist the sectional championship trophy for the third consecutive year.
According to Northwestern head coach Jim Wagner, one of the goals for the Tigers was to jump on the Blue Devils early and take them out of the game. Mission accomplished. Less than eight minutes after his first goal, Olsen took another Brutus throw-in and scampered through the Tipton defense for his second score of the day. He added a third goal at the 12 minute mark and dropped in a fourth in the 29th minute.
Before the end of the first half, Jacob Wagner added two goals, Graham Ortmann scored on a penalty kick and Brutus fired a 50-plus yard shot on a free kick that found the back of the goal for an 8-0 lead. Spencer Lubben and Daniel Hernandez assisted on Wagner’s two goals. In the second half, Brutus scored on a rebound for the only goal of the final 40 minutes.
In goal, Evan LaDow recorded three saves as the Tigers posted shutout wins in all three sectional games. They opened with a 7-0 win over Taylor and knocked out Rossville 8-0 in the semi-finals.
Northwestern (15-3-1) advances to the Tipton Regional and will play Western Boone (10-6-1) on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the second semi-final game. No. 1 Guerin Catholic (14-2-3) battles Hamilton Heights (10-8) in the 5 p.m. opener with the winners squaring off Saturday at 7 p.m. for the right to advance to the Elite Eight at the LaVille Semi-State on Oct. 26. The IHSAA State Soccer Finals will be held on Nov. 2 at the Michael A Carroll Track and Soccer Stadium on the campus of IUPUI in Indianapolis.