Noblesville High School coach Mike Brady wasn’t sure his team would get to defend its IHSAA state championship — not because of its play on the field, but because of conditions off the field amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Class 3A No. 1 Millers won their second consecutive Class 3A girls soccer state championship with a 3-0 victory against No. 3 Guerin Catholic Oct. 31 at Fishers High School.
“I’m just happy we made it through the season because I thought this season would be cut short with all that’s happening,” Brady said. “This is great for the girls. For all they’ve missed out on in school, for them to have this opportunity to be together and just to win is icing on the cake. I love this group. You see how talented they are, and they are even better individuals. When you are a coach, you are just lucky when you have these kinds of players.”
The Millers finished 17-0-1 after posting a 17-0-3 record in 2019.
“With the support we had from Noblesville, the fans we had behind us, it’s a great community to play for. It’s a celebration for us with Guerin and us being out here,” Brady said. “We told the girls they needed to play 80 minutes to win a state title and this was their best 80 minutes of the season. It was exciting for me to see it click and come together because that’s a very good Guerin team. I was hoping we’d beat them, but I didn’t think we beat them 3-0.”
Millers junior Carlie Sack came off the bench to score the game’s first goal in the first half, a good time for her first varsity goal.
Sophomore Ava Bramblett scored the second goal early in the second half.
“We were fully confident the whole game, but getting another goal just gives you more momentum going forward and more confidence,” Bramblett said.
Senior Jenna Chatterton added the Millers’ third goal. Chatterton finished with a team-high 11 goals on the season. Bramblett was next with 10.
“I was more nervous this year,” Chatterton said. “I relied on my team. They always have my back and I try to always have theirs.”
Chatterton, who has committed to play soccer for the University of Tennessee, said she is proud of the legacy the seniors built.
“I know next year will be great, and if they really want to, they can get back here again,” Chatterton said.
Millers senior Sara Kile, who had five saves in the game, returned as goalkeeper after missing the first six games in the postseason with a head injury. Junior Josie Taylor filled in well during her absence, allowing only two goals in six games.
“Sara is a key part of our team and our defensive line,” Chatterton said. “It was vital that she be in goal (in the final) even though Josie did an amazing job, too.”
Brady said Kile is the best goalkeeper in the state.
“To have her in the goal just lifted our confidence more,” Brady said. “It was good to see her back on the field and end this with her seniors.”
Noblesville senior Emma Potter captured the Mental Attitude Award for Class 3A girls soccer.
That capped off an amazing evening, she said.
“This group of seniors have played together so long and it’s really a family,” said Potter, who plans to play lacrosse at Central Michigan. “To leave it kind of sucks, but we know we are leaving it in good hands with so many good players to keep up the legacy and keep winning championships.”
The Millers will graduate six senior starters, but Brady said he has good young group.
“It won’t be easy with teams like Guerin, but the girls are up for the challenge,” Brady said of a possible three-peat. “We have a culture where want to be successful, so I’m excited to see what they bring to the table.”
Guerin Catholic finished 16-2-2. Senior Quincy McMahon led the Golden Eagles with 19 goals.