"We've just playing together for so long," says Heritage Hills senior forward Gabe Staggs. "We have that team chemistry. I just love them to death. They're my brothers."
"Down a player and not giving in, senior leadership," says Heritage Hills boys soccer head coach Joe Asbury. "Man, what a gritty performance that was."
Gritty indeed. In a clash of 18-and soccer teams, with the regional crown hanging in the balance, the Heritage Hills boys soccer team proved themselves worthy of that accolade, not only avenging their lone loss of the season to Gibson Southern, but also shutting out a Titans team that had rolled up their semifinal opponent, West Vigo, two nights earlier, 9-0. However in the 2-0 victory, the Patriots had to play down a man for much of the game, due to this first half exchange, which drew a red card and sent Eli Wilson out of the game.
"You guys talk about an incredible performance by our kids," says Asbury. "Down a man after a questionable red. Our kids just hung in there, of course we had to change things up a little bit. Made us less offensive."
The Patriot program's first-ever regional title victory had several heroes, none more so than goalkeeper Aiden Harris, who kept the Titans off the scoreboard. despite a withering attack, and Gabe Staggs, who finally snapped the scoeless deadlock in the waning minutes of regulation.
"Gabe Staggs, so much pressure up there," says Asbury. "What a player he is! Defensively, we did a great job. Obviously, our keeper kept us in the game with a save in thye first half and some nice plays throughout the game."
"I just trusted my teammates," says Heritage Hills senior goalkeeper Aiden Harris. "They pointed me where to go and I just went for it.
It took all of us. All the kids on the field and subs in the first half to make this happen."
Up next is the Semi-states and a showdown with an Brebeuf Jesuit squad that has been red-hot, winners of ten straight. However, these Patriots have a championship mindset, and Indy or Bust.
"We have a hunters mentality," says Staggs. "We always try to act like we're the hunters, because we want to win it. More than the other team."