The Harrison Boy’s soccer team has had an incredible 2017 campaign, posting a 13-1-2 record and topping off the season with a 2-2 draw against 16th-ranked Carmel.
The Raiders showed their depth against Carmel with three starters ‒ John Roop, Thys Call, and Daniel Madren ‒ out due to injury.
Harrison’s one loss came from rival McCutcheon on Aug. 29 with a score of 4-3, just a day after the Raiders became the No. 1-ranked team in the state.
That game served as a turning point, and coach Bryan Clouse’s team has not looked back since.
“We realized that there were a couple of things we needed to work on as a team which we worked on and fixed at practice for the next couple of weeks, and that we needed to take every game seriously, which we have also done since that game,” said senior goalkeeper Calvin Walters, who recently committed to the University of Chicago to continue his soccer career.
They have played great since that game, as they have a record of 9-0-2, the two draws coming from Carmel and No.10 Lake Central.
Harrison got its revenge on the Mavericks after beating them 4-1 in the North Central Conference championship.
This senior class has a 75-7-7 record over the past four years. That is an outstanding .915 winning percentage.
Most of the games this season have consisted of the Raiders starting 10 seniors in the 11-man starting lineup with sophomore Jerrick Mennen being the lone underclassman.
Seniors Riley Hogan and Alex Bauer have bolstered this year’s team as they have decided to join the team for their last year of high school.
Hogan plays forward and currently has seven goals and nine assists on the season, while Bauer is a defender who has stolen the ball 22 times, as well as tacking on one goal.
Most of the attention go toward Harrison’s ability to score the ball with Hogan, Call, Jakub “Kubi” Hall, and Max Miller.
Hall has had a season for the ages, netting 33 goals this season which has broken the school record and is currently sitting at 15th in the nation for goals and 14th in the nation for total points.
Miller and Call are the two best passers on the team with a combined assist total of 26, while Hogan has nine and Hall has seven.
Many of the seniors have been playing soccer together long before they began their high school career.
“It’s been a long time,” said senior Pete Newton, who holds the title of captain along with Walters and Madren. “We have been close ever since youth soccer, and it helps with team unity. All the guys are willing to help each other, and it just feels like a family. It’s been an honor to play with some of my best friends.”
After losing in semi-state in 2014, losing in the state championship in 2015, and losing in semi-state last season, Harrison and its 15 seniors are looking to make a huge run in this year’s state tournament which starts in the sectional tournament against Logansport at the Berries’ home field with the Raiders already defeating the Berries once this season, 11-0.
“The goal for the tournament is to cut down on mistakes every game so that when we get to our ultimate goal of winning the state championship, we are playing the best soccer of our season, which hopefully earn us the championship.” said Walters.
A state championship is the only thing this team will be satisfied with.
“We want to win it.” said Newton. “We’ve been around a blue ring for three straight years, anything except winning state would feel like a let down.”
The past three seasons have given this group of Raiders a plethora of experience.
“The last four years have been a blast.” said Newton. “We’ve learned how to win as a team, and how to come back from tough losses as a team. We have used each experience as a learning opportunity and especially learned how to get it done in the postseason. We are all ready for this postseason and I wouldn’t want to do it with any other team. I love these guys.”
Win or lose, the 2017 Harrison Raider soccer team will be one of the best the school has seen and possibly has ever seen.
It also goes without saying that this group of soccer seniors will be one of the best, if not the best senior classes that Harrison has ever had go through their soccer program.