The IHSAA boys’ socccer sectional starts today at Crawfordsville.
The Athenians host a seven team Class 3A sectional that includes defending sectional champion Danville and No. 12 ranked Tri-West.
The Bruins are 11-2-3 on the season and will take on 0-14 North Montgomery, who they beat 17-0 in the regular season, in the first round tonight at 6 p.m.
North Montgomery coach Tristain Hall is hoping to see continued improvement from his squad in the opening round.
"I think we have learned a lot this season," he said. "The inexperienced guys have learned how to make the right reads and the correct passes and everyone has learned so much this season overall. But our biggest improvement has been communicating and developing a chemistry with each other. The improvements that I am hoping to see in this game is having better communication as well as stronger defense."
On Tuesday, Danville (7-8-1) will face Frankfort (6-9-1) at 5 p.m., while Crawfordsville (11-3) plays Greencastle (9-6).
Southmont will play the winner of North Montgomery and Tri-West on Wednesday at 5 p.m., with the other semifinal to be played at 7 p.m.
The Bruins beat the Mounties 5-1 in the regular season.
Crawfordsville, who is looking for its first sectional title since 2016, owns a 5-2 record against the sectional field, with the only losses coming to Tri-West 4-1 and Frankfort 3-1. However, the Athenians responded with a 4-1 win over the Hot Dogs in Sagamore Conference play and finished second in the league.
“We have to play hard, have some fun, and play for the entire 80 minutes,” Crawfordsville coach Marcus Hale said. “and be ready to play another overtime game if needed.”
Crawfordsville ended the regular season with a 1-1 (2-1 PKs) shootout win over Danville on Thursday.
“It’s going to be challenging every round in the state tournament can be tough,” Hale added.
The Athenians were 4-3 winners over ther Tiger Cubs in an early season meeting, and are hoping to have similar success on Tuesday.
“We are a different team at this point, and they are a different team,” Hale said. “We are just going to have to be ready to play our best game possible.”