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Local colleges

Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Zach Baron of Saint Francis, left, collides with Indiana Tech’s Sam Didion while fighting for the ball in the first half of Thursday night’s game at the Shindigz National Soccer Festival.
Soccer festival notebook

Indiana Tech blanks St. Francis in opener

Several people who came to Hefner Fields to see the highlighted match between Notre Dame and Chivas Guadalajara’s under-23 team arrived early.

And then were treated to a fine undercard, as Indiana Tech’s men’s team defeated Saint Francis 1-0 on Thursday.

“We’re just looking for opportunities to asses our fitness, and we’ve got a long way to go,” Indiana Tech coach David Bokhart said. “Overall, it was a pretty unconvincing performance. We created a lot of chances early and didn’t take advantage of it. We’re looking at a bunch of guys in different roles, but that’s what this type of game is for. We see Saint Francis again in a week, during the regular season, and there’s plenty on that bench to keep our attention until then.”

The Warriors’ goal came in the 17th minute on a header from freshman Zachary St. Aubin of Manteno, Ill.

In the second half, the Cougars had great opportunities to tie the game.

In the 51st minute, Warriors goalkeeper Reece Richardson, a junior from Halifax, England, punched away a shot by former Snider player Mitchell Holloway from point-blank range.

And in the 79th minute, Richardson got caught out of position and the ball was rolling in before teammate William Johnson, a freshman from Fort Wayne, kicked it away at the line.

For the victory, the Warriors get to keep the Shindigz National Soccer Festival trophy the teams vie for at Hefner Fields.

“Between the coaching staffs, it’s a friendly rivalry,” Bokhart said. “We talk throughout the year and work on so many different things. You sometimes play harder against people you know the most and respect the most. I think that’s probably true of these games. Both these teams, whenever they play, think they can win. And both teams have opportunities to be successful this year.”

Singing anthems

Tom Didier has sung the “Star Spangled Banner” thousands of times, namely at Komets games, but also at other events.

He had a first Thursday, though, singing the Mexican national anthem preceding the game between Notre Dame and Chivas Guadalajara’s under-23 team.

He then performed the U.S. anthem.

Unfortunately, there was either a bit of divisiveness in the stands, as not nearly all of the roughly 3,800 spectators stood for the American anthem.

Weather’s fine

“How’s this for a rainout?” asked Terry Stefankiewicz, the founder of the Soccer Festival. Early in the afternoon, there were thundershowers, prompting some to call and make sure the games would still be on.

There was a little drizzle during the Saint Francis-Indiana Tech game, but it was merely overcast and comfortable for the later game.