ELKHART — Lucas Bontreger had 52 reasons to celebrate Wednesday night, but the only thing the Goshen senior wanted to enjoy was his team’s 4-0 win over Elkhart Memorial in the IHSAA Class 3A boys soccer sectional semifinal at Memorial.
Bontreger netted the 52nd goal of his prep career in the victory, breaking the GHS record of 51 held by 2014 graduate Isaac Huerta.
“It means a lot to get the record as I have been playing since my freshman season,” Bontreger said. “But it means more to get the team win.”
The record-breaker came at the 21:20 of the first half and gave the RedHawks a 2-0 lead.
“It’s not surprising that Lucas broke the record,” Goshen coach Viratham Mounsithiraj said. “The only thing that might be surprising is that it took him this long to do it. He could have scored more goals in his career, but he elected to pass to his teammates. That is Lucas.”
Concord was a 3-0 winner over Elkhart Central in the first semifinal Wednesday.
Goshen and Concord will square off in a repeat of last year’s sectional championship Saturday at 2 p.m.
The RedHawks used their passing game to move the ball around the field, keeping it away from the Memorial Crimson Chargers.
“We knew Memorial would come out and challenge us,” Mounsithiraj said. “So we tried to keep the ball moving and I think we eventually wore them down.”
Goshen took an early lead as freshman Fernando Quevedo scored at the 26:04 mark of the opening half.
“It is important for us to score first,” Mounsithiraj said. “We are a better team when we take an early lead. Fernando’s goal helped us to relax.
“But that didn’t stop Memorial. They kept coming at us whether the score was 2-0 or 3-0.”
The RedHawks led 12-3 in shots on goal and 5-2 in corner kicks.
“We did not play our best game on offense,” Mounsithiraj said. “With the team that we have I know we are going to score. I was more worried about giving up some silly goals. We didn’t make any mistakes tonight and give up a goal like that.”
Sophomore Nehemias Gallegos was in goal for the RedHawks until being relived with 8:37 left to play by junior Juan Daniel Moro Medina. The duo combined on three keeper saves in the shutout.
Goshen was up 2-0 at halftime after Bontreger’s goal, which was assisted by senior Junior Argueta. Senior Marcos Hernandez scored for the RedHawks at 30:08 of the second half, assisted by classmate Alex Martinez, and junior Efren Ortega added the final goal at 18:08 unassisted.
Concord vs. Elkhart Central
The Concord Minutemen also took a 2-0 lead at halftime in their 3-0 win over Elkhart Central. Sophomore Ariel DeLaPaz netted the first goal at 18:00 and senior Matthew Granitz the second at 11:55 assisted by senior Alan Galindo.
“I was pleased with the way we played in the first half,” Concord coach Shawn McCuen said. “We came out strong against a tough Central team. I talked to the kids about being mobile, getting good passes and attacking and defending as a team.”
Senior Saleh Christian added the final goal at 18:28 of the second half assisted by Granitz.
“We played better in the second half, but you can’t just play one half against a good team like Concord,” Central coach Sherwin Simon said. “I thought we had some good looks at the goal.”
Senior Josh Gorball made five keeper saves in the shutout for the Minutemen.
“Central seemed happy to be shooting from about 30 yards,” McCuen said. “I was happy with that as well. They might score a goal in 10 or 12 shots like that against Josh.”
Concord had advantages of 8-5 in shots on goal and 4-2 in corner kicks.
Greg Keim can be reached at email@example.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 326. Follow Greg on Twitter @gkeim_TGN