Carroll boys soccer showed why it's the top-ranked team in the area, beating Warsaw 3-1 in the final of the Carroll Boy's Soccer Classic on Saturday afternoon.
“It meant a lot” to get the win over the Tigers, senior midfielder Samuel Michaels said. “Last year, we actually lost to them our first game of the season. So we wanted to come out and play our best game and get the win.”
The Chargers (5-2), who are ranked No. 5 in Class 3A, scored on a header in the fifth minute by senior midfielder Michael Frank. Senior forward Chase Hartzog had the assist.
Carroll took a 2-0 lead in the 25th minute as Michaels stole the ball in front of the Tigers goal. Warsaw goalkeeper Miles Burkholder was too far out in front to stop Michaels' shot.
“Their back line, they were struggling with the touch. They had a bad touch up the middle, so I just pressed them and was able to take it to the goalie and pass it into the goal,” Michaels said.
Michaels also scored the Chargers' lone goal in a 1-0 win over Northridge in the tournament semifinals Saturday morning.
“He's the guy that controls the center of the field for us, he really sets the tone for our team,” Carroll coach Rollie Clements said. “He's great.”
The Tigers (8-2) cut the lead to one with three minutes remaining in the first half when they pulled off a perfect set piece.
A Carroll player had been called for a handball in front of the net, and a Warsaw player lofted the free kick just over the wall of defenders, placing it perfectly for Blake Burns, who headed the ball into the net.
Warsaw came out firing at the start of the second half, with two shots sailing just wide of the net and another saved by Carroll keeper Logan Gonzalez.
But seven minutes into the half, the Chargers flipped the tables when Hartzog got a piece of a corner kick by senior forward Christopher Gerken, heading it into the net to make the score 3-1.
“I felt like, in both games today, we didn't come out in the second half like we needed to,” Clements said. “It's a credit to the guys we got it settled down and got it going right again.”