Park Tudor beats Greenwood Christian for Class A boys title

Park Tudor’s boys soccer redemption tour ended Friday in dominating fashion.

A year after falling a game short of the Class A state finals, the Panthers avenged their semistate loss to eventual-state-champ Westview last week and claimed the title with an 9-0 thrashing of Greenwood Christian at IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium.

While the game was never in doubt – the second-ranked Panthers had already beaten unranked GCA, 8-0, in a regular-season matchup – this outcome would only come for the Panthers by being patient.

“We had a tough run in the tournament,” Park Tudor coach Ander Kieman said, referring to earlier tournament wins over No. 1 Westview, No. 3 University and No. 4 Faith Christian. “This was a challenging week because the kids had to be as focused as they were with those other teams. I mean, these are 16- and 17-year-old kids.”

IHSAA soccer: IHSAA soccer: What to know entering this weekend’s state championship games

“We had to lock-in mentally and not think about that earlier game (with GCA),” senior Francesco Nofrini said. “That was hard to do and in a few of our trainings this week, we weren’t very locked-in.”

So, the challenge for the Panthers and the coaching staff was to keep their confidence in check. It turned out, thanks in part to Nofrini, to not be a problem.

After a scoreless first 21 minutes, Nofrini broke through with the first of his three goals and the flood gates were blasted open.

Panthers freshman Carson Shattuck scored 4 minutes later before Park Tudor (20-2-1) added a pair of goals (by Nofrini and Elliot Scotten) in a 12-second span less than a minute after Shattuck’s goal.

Park Tudor High School senior George Ferguson (23) thrusts the championship trophy in the air over his head after the team defeated Greenwood Christian Academy High School in an IHSAA Class A boys’ soccer State Championship match, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, at IUPUI’s Michael A. Carroll Track and Soccer Stadium in Indianapolis.

Senior George Ferguson then netted his pair of goals in a 2-minute span late in the half and the onslaught continued with David Mokaya scoring off a corner kick in the 39th minute and Nofrini reaching his hat-trick in the 40th minute on an unassisted goal.

“After that first goal, they had no chance,” Nofrini said. “We were sliding through and scoring at will.”

Story continues

The eight goals in a half marked an all-class, IHSAA finals record – breaking the mark of six set by Chesterton in the Class 3A final in 2020. The previous Class A record of four was set in 2012 by Fort Wayne Canterbury.

To further emphasize Park Tudor’s domination in the first half, GCA didn’t record a shot on Panthers goalkeeper Matthew Bender. In fact, the ball rarely even crossed the midfield line into Park Tudor territory during the first 40 minutes.

The Cougars (11-8-3) didn’t record their first shot on goal until the 50th minute and didn’t have a corner kick until the 59th minute. Greenwood Christian’s only real scoring chance came with 2 minutes left when a shot by Boden Campbell hit the crossbar.

By that point, Park Tudor junior Teddy Kramer closed the scoring with the final goal in the 76th minute.

The loss put a damper on an impressive tournament run by the Cougars, who came into the tournament with four wins and off a season in 2021 where coach Micah Estes’ squad only won three games.

“We knew Park Tudor was an amazing team,” Estes said. “We played nervous and weren’t able to connect passes very well. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves without them even having to pressure us.”

Perhaps that can be chalked up to experience.

“Park Tudor has been close and have players who were experienced and hungry,” Estes said. “This is our first (state finals) experience, so we have a lot of young kids who are hungry.”

“It’s not easy to win a state championship,” Kieman said. “We’ve had a tough run and a tough season. By game day, we were focused on what we wanted to do.”

This time, Park Tudor got it done.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: IHSAA soccer: Park Tudor beats Greenwood Christian for Class A boys title


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