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Boys Soccer Season Review
This was one Whitey Kapsalis didn’t want to end.

“I’m sad,” Kapsalis said shortly after the 2018 Cathedral High School boys soccer season.

Kapsalis, in his second season as the Irish’s coach, said the reason was simple: The 2018 team was special – not just on the field but off it.

The Irish finished ’18 as one of the final eight teams playing in Class 3A, continuing to build a strong foundation by finishing 13-5-1 and winning the City Championship – and also winning a second consecutive sectional championship.

“The second season went a little smoother than the first, and the boys responded,” Kapsalis said. “It was pretty great.”

The Irish, who finished the regular season unranked in the Indiana Soccer Coaches Association Class 3A poll, not only beat Cardinal Ritter for a second consecutive season for the city title, they made it a step further this season than last in the postseason – losing 3-0 in the Class 3A, Region 3 final to Zionsville.

“You can control what you can control,” Kapsalis said of the loss to Zionsville. “We would have loved to have continued on further in the tournament, but that night the team we lost to was just better than us. We controlled the control-ables, which was our culture and how guys got along – the brotherhood mantra we lived by.

“We hit the ground running this year. That was the difference.”

The Irish in 2018 were keyed by a fifteen-member senior class, a group that Kapsalis said bought into the program as juniors in his first season as coach and “really carried it forward this year.”

“It was less transition and more modus operandum,” he said. “There are off-field missions and on-field missions. They really handled both.”

The Irish not only had an eight-game in-season winning streak, they peaked late in the season – and continued playing well into the postseason. The Irish first beat Cardinal Ritter 2-1 to win the City Championship, beating Covenant Christian 2-0 in the semifinal and Washington 3-0 in the opening round.

They then won the Class 3A, Section 11 title with a 3-1 victory over tournament host Lawrence North in the title game, securing their 10 th second title as a program and their second in as many seasons. The Irish fell behind Lawrence North 1-0 at the 20-minute mark of the first half before rallying with first-half goals by senior forward Sean Callaghan and senior back Nate Griffin. Both goals came on cornerkicks by senior midfielder Nick Mourouzis. Junior midfielder Matt Welch scored in the second half on an assist from senior midfielder Jacob Schneider.

The Irish had rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the sectional semifinal for a 5-2 victory over Franklin Central. Callaghan and senior midfielder Coledon Johnson both scored twice in the semifinal with Welch also scoring in the semifinal.

The Irish advanced to the regional final with a 3-1 victory over Brownsburg. Goals in that game came from Schneider (two) and senior back Noah Gruber.

Kapsalis called the Irish a defensive-minded team that was balanced and potent offensively.

“When we were playing well, our offense clicked as well,” he said. “When you put those two together, we were really dynamic. We were spreading goals around. We were getting assists. We were scoring goals by run of play. We were scoring goals from set pieces. They were coming from different players. It was full-on effort offensively and defensively that was pretty powerful.”

Johnson, a senior who played at Cathedral as a freshman before playing in a developmental academy as a sophomore and junior, led the Irish with eight goals and eight assists.

“It ended up being a spectacular year for him,” Kapsalis said.

Callaghan finished the season with seven goals and four assists, while Schneider had six goals and four assists and Welch had five goals and three assists. Senior goalkeeper Nik Kolosso registered eight shutouts.

Junior back Brent Gleason, Griffin, Gruber, Johnson, Kolosso and senior back Nathan Schoenfeld were named to the All-City Tournament Team. Callaghan, junior back Andrew Darling, senior midfielder Caileb Gillig, senior forward Jacob Graff, Griffin, senior back Connor Helmen, Johnson, Kolosso, senior back Quinn Leous, senior midfielder Henry Madden, junior midfielder Emerson Masuccio, Mourouzis, Schneider, Schoenfeld and Welch were named to the ISCA All-Academic team.

Griffin was named ISCA Top Team Player. Johnson was named ISCA first-team All-District and Welch was named to the ISCA All-District second team.

“We asked them to step up,” Kapsalis said. “They had to embrace roles. They had to share time and adapt to that. Sometimes when you have to share time when it costs you time, that can be an
interesting dynamic. We had none of that. The support they showed and the friendship was special.”

And while the senior class will move on, Kapsalis said the group established “a momentum feeling going on that I can’t wait to carry on next year.”

“They were a great bunch of kids and spectacular soccer players,” he said. “The interesting thing will be with this group of seniors moving on there will be a lot of youth going forward. Our ability to have them believing in the things we believe in might be a challenge – because we’ll be relying on youth to carry this baton – but they have been exposed to it.

“They know what’s expected in terms of how we get after things. The challenge will be when you lose that much experience can you pick that up in places. That will be a great opportunity for some of those
   
 

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