Brownsburg’s girls soccer players knew Phil Slavens would retire at the end of his 15th year as the school’s coach.
They tried their best to delay the inevitable. Brownsburg led No. 12 Brebeuf Jesuit late before the Braves rallied to win the Class 2A regional matchup 4-3 Wednesday night in Zionsville.
“You can’t be disappointed with the effort,” Slavens said. “My gosh, we did everything we could. We made a few mistakes, but they weren’t mental errors. They just got a few more bounces than we did. They were the better side. The scoreboard said so.”
Brebeuf coach Gary Yohe said it was obvious that Brownsburg’s players respected their coach.
“They played all out for him,” Yohe said. “They worked so hard.”
Brebeuf advanced to play Zionsville, a 4-0 winner over Cathedral, Saturday in the regional final.
Brownsburg started the season with a 1-9 record but had gone 5-0-4 since. Slavens said he was proud of the way the team bounced back and wished the ride would have lasted a bit longer.
“I’m disappointed but not unhappy,” he said.
Brownsburg took a 3-2 lead on a goal by Tori Edwards before Brebeuf took control. Melissa Snider scored her second goal with just under 11 minutes remaining, and Tayler Fitts scored the game-winner on a header off a corner kick about 3 minutes later.
Fitts tore the meniscus in her right knee about a month ago, had surgery and played for the first time since the injury, subbing in just minutes before assisting on the goal that tied the score.
“I wasn’t going to play her unless we needed her, and we needed her,” Yohe said.
Goalie Annie Clark made the lead stand with four saves in the final 3 minutes.
“It was a roller coaster, up and down, kind of like our season went,” Yohe said. “We were fortunate to finish up on a high note.”
Slavens said his whole career was a high note.
“I’ve been so lucky and so blessed to have such good teams over the years,” he said.
Class 2A No. 14 Center Grove defeated Perry Meridian 3-1 in Shelbyville. Center Grove coach Todd Sheely said his team overcame a 1-0 deficit when it learned to handle the elements.
“It was pretty windy in the first half,” he said. “We kind of misjudged some balls. Second half, we were able to slow things down and keep the ball on the ground.”
Center Grove’s Rachel Hippenmeyer scored to tie the match in the first half, then Erin Sutton and Nicole Jansen scored in the second half to put it away.
Sheely said goalkeeper Jessica Humphrey performed well.
Center Grove advanced to play No. 20 Warren Central. The Warriors defeated Greenfield-Central 4-1 on Wednesday.
Center Grove defeated Warren Central last month, but Sheely has that in perspective.
“Whoever’s previous scores, a month, a day, a week ago, don’t matter,” he said.