The celebrations were galore. There was a choreographed dance to the song "What it Takes" from Camp Rock. A modified version of the 1985-86 Chicago Bears "Super Bowl Shuffle", now known as the "Carmel Greyhounds Shuffle". And even two Greyhounds finding their inner-Brandi Chastain, ripping off their jerseys and running around Kuntz Memorial field.
Yes, it was safe to say the Carmel Greyhounds may have put some thought into what they would do if they were to win the first ever Girls IHSAA Class 2A State championship on Saturday. Quite honestly, they probably had earned to do many more acts of victory if the boys match didn't follow directly afterwards.
"This is amazing," said Backes, one of the girls who ran jersey-less before the awards ceremony. "This is the best feeling in the world, I will never forget it."
The #1 Greyhounds (22-0-1) capped off an unprecedented run to capture the State title on Saturday, knocking off #2 Hamilton Southeastern (20-0-2) by the tally of 1-0. The Royals were the seventh ranked team in which the Greyhounds had defeated throughout the tournament, locking up Carmel's ninth State championship.
"It was the toughest road ever for us," said Greyhounds Head Coach Frank Dixon. "For anybody I think. We finished off with two, we beat three, five, and six. It is a compliments to the way these kids can play to be able to do that."
Saturday was the first time in which the two squads had faced off against each other since last year's Sectional championship at Hamilton Southeastern, in which the Royals defeated the Greyhounds 1-0. In that game Greyhounds Senior Brooke Backes had to leave early due a violent collision with Royals Goalkeeper Stacey DePriest, ultimately breaking Backes' leg in the process.
This time around it was Backes handing out the season-ending wounds to the Royals, breaking Hamilton Southeastern's hearts by scoring the only goal at the 15:11 mark of the first half. In a similar play, Backes took a pass near the box from Senior Samantha Kokoska, and as Royals defender Natalie Delozier and DePriest attemped to stop Backes, she split the ball between the two as it rolled in easily for the goal.
"It was the best feeling ever," said Backes.
In the second half the Greyhounds added an extra defender, and despite increased pressure from the Royals, the Greyhounds were able to cling on to the 1-0 shut-out for the title. But while the Greyhounds were celebrating, the Royals were able to hold their heads high after a fantastic season.
"We didn't come here to get second," said Royals Head Coach Greg Davidson. "So that is the disappointing piece. We came to win it. But to be one of the last two teams in the state, the first time for our program, I am very proud of the girls."
But now the Carmel Greyhounds must cross their fingers for some luck for additional success past the State championship. The Greyhounds entered this week ranked second in the nation in the NSCAA/ADIDAS National rankings, previously ranked as number-one before getting passed up by Villa Joseph Marie (18-0-0). No matter how those rankings turn out though, nothing will be able to take away what the Greyhounds had been able to accomplish within the state in 2011.
And for that, they are able to celebrate however they want.
Carmel Greyhounds win IHSAA State championship with shutout of Royals
The Greyhounds (22-0-1) won their ninth IHSAA State soccer championship with a 1-0 victory over the Hamilton Southeastern Royals (20-1-2).
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