Sunday, September 30, 2007


We watched a bit of local history in the making last evening.

The Lady Giants have come close before. As parents, we've been in the stands for the semi-final and final game several times, only to see our gals (including Abby and Molly) lose heartbreakers to the Brebeufs and North Centrals of the world.

Not this time. Not this year. Not on this night. Congratulations goes to a group angry, inspired girls who, even with two key starters out with injury, prevailed over 14th-ranked Brebeuf Jesuit to win the 2007 Marion County Tournament. This is the kind of victory money just can't buy...and bragging rights as the Best of Indianapolis for 12 months.

Here's how Indianapolis Star sports writer Michael Pointer reports it:

The Ben Davis girls team once included the player generally considered the best in the history of Indiana prep soccer.

But even when the Giants had Lauren Cheney -- now a standout at UCLA -- they never accomplished what they did Saturday night.

The Giants got two late first-half goals, then held off 14th-ranked Brebeuf Jesuit for a 3-1 victory in the Marion County championship game at North Central, giving Ben Davis its first county soccer title.

"We're a young team and we're pretty excited,'' senior defender Kate Richmond said. "At times, we're out of control. But when we put it all together, we're pretty good.''

For the Ben Davis girls (11-6), it was a day to remember. Only North Central (nine times) and Brebeuf (three) had won the tournament in the past 12 years.

Ben Davis coach Rob Irwin said the Giants were annoyed by media reports suggesting the bottom half of the tournament draw -- which included Ben Davis -- was weak. All three ranked teams in the field were in the top half, and suggestions started cropping up again that the tournament should be seeded instead of relying on a blind draw.

"We wanted it,'' Irwin said. "We had some motivation.''

Brebeuf's Bekah MacGregor drilled a shot off the crossbar just three minutes into the game, but then Ben Davis settled down.

Following a corner kick, the Giants' Cassandra Epley chased down a loose ball in the box and knocked it into the far left corner for a 1-0 lead with 5:34 left.

Ben Davis extended the lead with 23 seconds left in the half, when Bibiana Para lofted a high shot from just outside the penalty area that was out of the reach of Brebeuf goalkeeper Jackie Thompson.

Brebeuf (11-5) pushed the tempo in the second half and made things interesting when Emily Bowden scored with 5:54 remaining.

But Ben Davis' Adreinne Poe-Hinton dribbled down the left side and scored from about 10 yards out with just under one minute left, avoiding any drama.

Ben Davis advanced to the final with a 1-0 victory over Warren Central earlier Saturday. Brebeuf Jesuit beat No. 17 Lawrence North 3-2 in the semifinals.

The Lady Giants regular season concludes Monday evening as they play the state's #1-ranked team, Carmel. The Indiana High School Athletic Association State Soccer Tourney begins on the following Monday. Molly, who's nursing an ugly sprained ankle suffered in Wednesday night's Marion County tournament game (in which she scored the first goal), is hoping to be ready for Ben Davis' drive to a Sectional Championship.

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