It’s official: Noblesville is the soccer capital of Indiana.
Just a couple hours after watching the boys win their third-straight Class 3A state championship, the Noblesville girls spotted Bloomington South an early goal, then came back and dominated the rest of the contest to take a 3-1 victory at Carroll Stadium on Saturday.
It’s the second-straight state title for the Noblesville girls and the fourth in five years. More notably, it marks the second-straight season NHS has claimed both the girls and boys championships making it the first school in IHSAA history to accomplish the feat in back-to-back seasons.
Only one other school, Evansville Memorial, has accomplished the feat twice (2008 and 2017), while Park Tudor is the only other school to claim both titles in a season, which that program did in 2022.
“We support our boys and we feed off that,” Millers girls coach Mike Brady said. “Our program, along with our boys, has reached the point that our culture is to play for state championships. We may not always win it, but that’s where we are now.”
And, perhaps the scary thing for the rest of the state, as far as Brady’s team is concerned, is that the Millers (17-1-3) started only one senior Saturday night.
So, a girls three-peat may be foremost on Brady’s mind as he left the field Saturday.
“Don’t think I’m not going to get in their heads about that,” Brady said. “Oh, yes, I’ll be reminding them we have to win three in a row now that the boys have.”
Ironically, the repeat appeared in mild jeopardy early on.
Bloomington South (18-3-1) stunned the Millers with an unassisted goal by Katherine Lacy in the seventh minute.
That goal, however, may have been to Noblesville’s advantage.
“It certainly did wake us up,” Brady said. “I can say a dozen times they are a good team and we have to be focused, but I’m not sure they always believe it. Still, there was a lot of time left, so I still believed we would get our chances.”
Thanks mainly to junior Meredith Tippner, the Millers did. Tippner tied the score in the 21st minute with an unassisted goal of her own — a boot that slipped right through the hands of Bloomington South goalkeeper Paloma Martinez LeBathe.
Barely 10 minutes later, Tippner assisted Atley Pittman who kicked in the go-ahead goal from about 10 yards out.
For good measure, Tippner picked up her second assist in the 64th minute, sending a nice pass to Sydney Elliott who converted the insurance goal from point-blank range. Tippner finished the season with a team-best 23 goals and 53 points.
“We had a good start, no doubt,” Bloomington South coach David Prall said, “but we had trouble controlling Tippner and that made it tough. We made some mistakes we don’t normally make.”
It is Elliott who is the only senior starter for Brady’s lineup.
“To go out as a senior like that is great,” said Elliott of her eighth goal of the season. “I guess that (Bloomington South goal) was a kick in the butt for us, but we got it together, stayed focused and it worked out for us.”
Bloomington South was making its first appearance in the state finals since 2003, which came a year after finishing as runner-up.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: IHSAA girls soccer: Noblesville beats Bloomington South for 3A title