The Carroll girls soccer team won its eighth straight sectional title Saturday at East Noble, in what is the only championship game during that tournament streak to be decided by one goal.
The Chargers defeated Northrop 1-0 for the trophy, playing a scoreless first half against the Bruins for the second time this year.
“At halftime, it was the same score as last time, and we just told each other, ‘Don’t panic, we know what we can do,’ and we knew we would finish at some point and get the win,” Carroll senior Sarah Mullins said.
In the second half of Saturday’s championship, it took seven shots on target for the Chargers to finally get one to land. With just under 18 minutes left to play, Mullins sent a corner kick to centerfield in front of Northrop’s goal. The pass was picked up by midfielder Karissa Llamas, who took a shot that was deflected by a Bruin defender. Mullins, coming into play, picked up the loose ball and took a shot over Northrop goalkeeper Kayden Tassler, sinking it into the far corner of the net.
“I was kind of shocked when it went it, but I’m so glad I was able to score and for our team to be able to keep going forward,” Mullins said. “It’s a special team this year, and I’m excited for regionals.”
Freshman goalkeeper Rachel Ortiz grabbed four saves on the afternoon to seal the shutout, including a notable grab in the closing minutes of the first half with a host of Bruins bobbling the ball in front of the goal while looking for an open shot.
Carroll’s last meeting with the Bruins resulted in a 2-0 win for the Chargers in September, with both of their goals coming in the second half.
Over the course of Carroll’s seven-year sectional winning streak coming into Saturday’s game, the Chargers had won the championship round by an average of three goals. Seven of the team’s past eight championship wins have been shutouts. The last time they were scored on in the final round was during a 3-1 win over Bishop Dwenger in 2014.
“This is our fourth time for the seniors. It’s always special to get that trophy,” Mullins said. “That game was fun to play, definitely, and props to Northrop — they gave us a great game. I’m just glad we got to come out on top.”
Carroll will face No. 19 Harrison (13-2-1) at the Logansport regional Saturday.