The Castle soccer Lady Knights shocked the state in class 2A this postseason. Castle had been the underdog in each match they played in this postseason, but that didn’t stop them from winning the sectional, regional and winning the first game of the semi-state.
Last year, Castle was the team to beat all season long and was undefeated in the regular season, but ended up losing in the regional championship to the Memorial Tigers. After last year’s season, the Lady Knights lost 14 seniors.
Head Coach Doug Diedrich led the Lady Knights to a 14-6-1 record this season. In the first round of the sectional, Castle beat Jasper, 1-0, on a game-winning goal by junior Lindsey Gilkey and in the championship game Castle beat the fourth-ranked North Huskies, 1-0, on another game-winning goal by sophomore attacking midfielder Katie Schroeder to win the class 2A sectional title.
“It felt amazing, (scoring two game winning goals during the postseason) especially in the North game it was towards the end of the game and it just felt amazing to be able to contribute to a game like that,” said Schroeder.“We lost 14 seniors last year and I don’t necessarily think it (regular season) was rough, but we had some struggles with teams but we eventually pulled through.”
Next up was Terre Haute North Vigo in the first round of the regional. Castle won, 2-0. In the regional final, the Lady Knights beat the 15th-ranked Memorial Tigers, 2-1, to be crowned the Class 2A regional champion. The Knights lost to Memorial, 3-0, in the regular season.
The Lady Knights had six seniors on the team this season. Castle started four of those seniors throughout the year, one of those seniors being starting center-back Hannah Huebner.
“Honestly, we didn’t think we would make it out of the sectional and it was a big surprise that we are playing in the semi-state this weekend,” Huebner said. “We started the season with three losses and two wins, so we weren’t thinking much of having a good season; it was supposed to be more of a rebuilding year and to make it this far in the postseason has been a shock to all of us.”
This past Saturday, Oct. 25, the Lady Knights played East Central in the first game of the semi-state winning, 1-0, in overtime on a game winning goal by none other than Schroder. The Knights would lose to one of the top ranked teams in the state, the second-ranked Carmel Greyhounds, 3-0, in the class 2A semi-state final.
Despite the loss on Saturday, Castle shocked the state in class 2A.
Coach Doug Diedrich was very proud of his team on making such an amazing postseason run.
“It’s been incredible,” he said. “I mean no one expected us to be here after graduating the 14 seniors and losing (senior) Leah Minnette before the season started, no one even expected us to win the sectional. To get to this point with this group of girls, we’ve got some great young kids coming through the system and we have six seniors that were great leaders all year and I am just excited for them. We were the underdog all year and I think it was to our benefit. With our youth and everything that we had, it really put no pressure on us. There wasn’t any pressure to win or score goals, so the girls could played a little loose and could actually play, enjoy and have fun. When you can do that, they are going to perform better and that’s what happened this year.”