BY DEAN HOCKNEY
RUSSIAVILLE, Ind. – The Western Panthers stunned the field by knocking off two ranked opponents to capture the programs first-ever Hoosier Conference girls soccer championship.
Hosting the tournament in Russiaville, the Lady Panthers (12-1) pulled a semifinal upset by defeating Class 1A No. 3 Lafayette Central Catholic 2-1. Sophie Weigt and Audrey Rassel scored the Panthers two goals, while Weigt and Samantha Garber both recorded assists. Madlyn Beechy earned the win in goal, stopping eight of the Lady Knights nine shots.
In the championship match, Western recorded its second upset of the day with a shocking 3-0 victory over Class 2A No. 8 West Lafayette. Weigt continued her sensational day by dominating the Lady Knights with two goals and an assist. Alex Parr scored the third Western goal and assisted on Weigt’s tallies. In goal, Beechy stopped a dozen shots to earn the shutout victory.
Northwestern won twice to secure fifth-place in the Hoosier Conference tournament. The Lady Tigers defeated Benton Central 9-0 and Tipton 4-2 on the day.
In the boys Hoosier Conference tournament hosted by Northwestern, the Tigers pulled a semifinal upset before falling to a ranked team in the finals.
In the semifinals, Northwestern (6-5-1) upset 2A No. 19 Rensselaer Central 5-1. It was a quick start for the Tigers as Nathan Bennett scored in the fourth minute, Caleb Treadway in the sixth minute and Ben Harris in the eighth minute for a 3-0 lead. Harris scored on a beautiful header off a corner kick. Patrick Bath scored a second half penalty kick and Bennet connected on his second goal with 12 minutes remaining. Assists went to Jack Hale (3), Bath and Mason Pfefferkorn, while Vance Rogers recorded the win in goal.
In the finals, the Tigers faced 2A No. 9 West Lafayette, falling 7-1. Treadway cut into a 2-0 West Lafayette lead with a goal in the 24th minute, but the Red Devils offense was simply too strong.
Western took home fifth-place with a pair of victories. The Panthers defeated Twin Lakes 2-0 and Tipton 6-3.