Cortez leads Crawfordsville with 11 goals and is co-high with Josue Cardenas with six assists. Joel Monroe has eight goals.
“What it’s going to take [to win] is a solid effort from everybody, offense and defense making sure that we’re playing together as a unit. We’ve been doing that so I think the guys are pretty fired up that we’ve got a pretty good chance to make something happen,” Wagner said. “Right now we’re playing our best soccer and I think the guys feel that and are pretty excited about it.”
The in-season improvements that stand out strongest to Wagner is how the team has begun to learn to defend collectively.
“The guys are doing a great job of staying together, supporting each other, making sure there’s always someone there to back each other up if someone makes a mistake,” Wagner said. “The other thing we didn’t have early on was the midfield coming back to help the defense and push the ball forward. We’re seeing that now where all four midfielders are coming back ... instead of hanging out too far forward, putting pressure on our defense.”
Carroll and Peru head north to Caston after winning sectional titles. The Cougars (13-6) face No. 16 Argos (17-1-1) in today’s opener at 5 p.m., followed by Peru (11-5-2) vs. Oak Hill (14-2-1) at approximately 7.
Carroll and Argos didn’t meet in the regular season.
“From what I can tell they lost the first game of the year and have not lost since,” Carroll coach Dave Falkenberg said. “But the way I look at it, we need to control what we can control and play solid defense, and our defense played very well in sectionals. I really think if we can play solid defense and finish a corner kick or throw in — those are two areas we’re trying to focus on this week. If we can finish a corner or a throw in, I think we can win that first game.”