ZIONSVILLE – The top-ranked Zionsville boys soccer team had already clinched at least a share of the Hoosier Crossroads Conference title.
On Tuesday night, they made sure they weren’t sharing it with anyone else. The Eagles had no problems in dispatching Brownsburg 3-0, improving to 14-0 and finishing HCC play 7-0.
“We played well from the start,” Zionsville head coach Rob Jordan said. “You could see it in their eyes before the game started that they really wanted this game. We already had a share of the conference, but they wanted it all and I was really pleased with their attitudes and how well they played tonight. Every one got in tonight, and there wasn’t a let down anywhere.”
It was the second-straight HCC title for the Eagles, and also only the second in their history.
All-time HCC records aren’t readily available, but as far back as 2011, no HCC team has ever gone undefeated in conference play with all wins.
Jordan said it was a great accomplishment for the team, especially because nearly every team in the conference was ranked in the top-20 at some point.
“There have been teams that have gone undefeated with a tie, and I don’t know in the early days of the conference, but it hasn’t happened since I’ve been here,” Jordan said. “It’s really impressive. Top to bottom in our conference, every game is a great game and every team brings their best. It is a tough conference, and it means a lot to win it.”
The Eagles went up 1-0 on a goal by Ben Weidner.
It was the third goal in four games for the senior, and his seventh overall.
“He is just finding ways to make plays,” Jordan said. “The goal tonight, he took a bad touch, then it looked like he was taking to many touches, then all of a sudden he rifles a shot through a space that didn’t even look big enough to fit the ball through. He had one of those goals earlier in the season too, and sometimes you just wonder how he does. He has done a great job, along with all our other seniors.”
Jackson Iler made it 2-0 right before the half, before Josh Kuller made it 3-0 to put the game away.
That was more than enough cushion for the defense, which posted their 11th shutout of the season.
If there was a question mark coming into the season, it would have been the defense only because they graduated all four backs and their goalkeeper.
But the back three of Charlie Wagner, Cam Greeson and Nick Pease, along with goalkeeper Gavin Raff have been lights out.
“To only allow four goals in 14 games, that is super impressive,” Jordan said. “When you lose your goalie and your four backs, you always wonder what is going to happen, but they all have stepped up, played well and it has been exciting to watch.”
The Eagles conclude the regular season on Thursday night at home against Guerin Catholic.
It will also been senior night, where they will honor their nine seniors.
The Eagles won the game 3-1, getting goals from seniors Chris Freeman, Ben Weidner and Lorenzo Martinez.
Along with those three, the seniors honored were Evan Miller, Josh Kuller, Ben Dunning, Cam Greeson, Connor Maltby and Andrew Hlade.
“These guys have been such a big part of our program,” Jordan said. “Most of these guys have been a part of the varsity for three years and a couple of freshmen. They haven’t lost many games, and they are going to leave a great legacy here.”
In their four years at Zionsville, the senior class is currently 60-7-6.
Jordan said one of the things that has been impressive with this group is that they have gotten a lot of teams best shots during that time, and more times than not they have come out on top.
“We have talk about the pressure we have from other teams wanting to beat us and the target on our backs,” Jordan said. “The guys have taken it all in stride, and know that you have to enjoy the time, enjoy the game and enjoy your teammates. Eventually you have to hang your boots up and its over, and that enjoyment is what you will remember. They have taken that message to heart and enjoy everything that comes with it.”
This season has been the best yet, and the Eagles have been highly ranked in the state and some national polls, coming in as high as No. 2 nationally in the MaxPreps Poll and 13th in TopDrawerSoccer’s Fab50 Poll for the fall.
But after coming so close to winning a state championship last season, Jordan said this group isn’t focused on any rankings or the outside noise.
They are just focused on the task in front of them in a tough Pike Sectional.
“I’m sure they are aware of it from parents or friends, but we don’t talk about it,” Jordan said. “The polls are what they are. The guys aren’t focused on that. Three or four years ago, when we started having success, when we got high up in the rankings, it was an issue, because it hadn’t happened in a long time. But, I don’t see it with this group at all, and they are just focused on the task at hand.”
The post-season journey starts on Wednesday, Oct. 9 for the Eagles, as they face Carmel in the opening round of the sectional.