Author’s note: Maclay did end up winning the championship game
Submitted by Tom Congdon, special correspondent to FLN
Coming off three straight losses early in the season Chiles faced off against the Lincoln Trojans in mid-March for the first of their two district games against each other. Chiles prevailed 15-8 on their home field. Three weeks later, they faced-off again, on a neutral field. This time, Lincoln turned the tables, sending a message to its district foe that they were a team to be reckoned with heading into districts. Lincoln won resoundingly 14-8.
During the last five games of the season, Lincoln’s offense was firing on all cylinders, scoring an average of sixteen goals per game. Their two leading scorers, junior attackman Morgan Bell and senior midfielder Caleb Gehres, had everyone thinking about Lincoln. On the other side of the pond, Chiles, facing an identity crisis and questions about several positional changes late in the season, had concerns whether they could muster the level of play to defend their 2018 district championship.
As the game got under way, one had the sense that this game would come down to offensive possession. For Chiles, to sway possession in their favor, FOGO specialist Riley Meyers had to find a way to limit faceoff wins by Lincoln’s FOGO standout, Sammy Schultz (#5).
In the first quarter, Lincoln appeared to have the upper hand. Since their last win against Chiles, they exuded an aura of confidence that eluded Chiles for much of the season. Chiles, however, struck first by a dodge down the heart of Lincoln’s defense and blast by junior midfielder Spencer Brenneman (#15). Lincoln responded a couple of minutes later with a score by Gehres (#19). At 5:18, freshman midfielder John Adams Dowdy (#3) scored, putting Chiles up 2-1. Lincoln ended the first quarter by tallying two goals, one by Morgan Bell (#11) and Brendan Stamper (#3), putting the Trojans up 3-2.
Thirty seconds into the start of the second quarter, Trent Fewox (#21) fed Sean Congdon (#6) for a score. Unfazed, Morgan Bell (#11) answered with an unassisted goal at 11:12. At 8:44, Bell fed Gabe Tornillo (#1) for another goal, putting Lincoln ahead 5-3. At 3:05, Chiles leading scorer, Matt Congdon (#2) scored the first of his three goals for the night. The first half ended with Lincoln ahead 5-4.
If the second half was going to be anything like the first half, one had the feeling that the game would come down to last possession or possibly a sudden victory situation. It was that close between these two teams.
After a minute of play in the third quarter, Sean Congdon (#6) fed Trent Fewox (#21) for a score. At 8:00, Matt Congdon (#2) scored his second (assisted by Fewox and Hartman), putting Chiles up 6-5. Throughout the third quarter, Lincoln pressured Chile’s revamped defense, but standout goalie, Carson Hough (#28), stood strong and made one save after another. The third quarter ended with Chiles holding onto a slim, one-goal lead.
The fourth quarter started like the third for Chiles, this time Matt Congdon (#2) assisting senior midfielder Christos Kiratzis (#7) on a score at 10:51. At 9:31, junior attackman/midfielder Sam Hartman (#26) scored, stretching Chiles lead by 3 (8-5). At this point, Lincoln’s defense grew weary and their offense had yet to answer in the second half. After winning the following faceoff, Chiles struck quickly. At 9:07, Matt Congdon (#2) scored his third for the night, increasing Chiles lead by 4. At 5:32, Fewox (#21) fed Kiratzis (#7) for his second goal of the night. At 4:42, Sean Congdon (#6) fired from the top of the box for a score (assisted by Hartman). Junior attackman Ashton Way (#1) scored at 3:15 (assisted by Reece Forbes (#18)), and again at 3:08 (assisted by Riley Meyers (#9) off the faceoff).
While Lincoln lost its composure in the fourth quarter, the key to Chiles’s victory was a sound defense and clutch goaltending that held Lincoln to no goals in the second half. Riley Meyers (#9) went 11-18 against FOGO Sammy Schultz (#5). Earning the game ball, Chiles’ goalie, Carson Hough (#28) recorded 21 saves.
Chiles will play in the District Championship against Maclay who beat Leon 19-0. Game will be held on Friday at 6:00 p.m. at Maclay’s Shaw Field.
#2 Matt Congdon 3G/1A
#21 Trent Fewox 1G/3A
#6 Sean Congdon 2G/1A
#26 Sam Hartman 1G/2A
#7 Christos Kiratzis 2G
#1 Ashton Way 2G
#15 Spencer Brenneman 1G
#3 John Adams Dowdy 1G
#18 Reece Forbes 1A
#9 Riley Myers 1A
#11 Morgan Bell 2G/2A
#19 Caleb Gehres 1G
#3 Brendan Stamper 1G
#1 Gabe Tornillo 1G
#14 CJ Bennett 1A