BY JIM JOHNSON – FOR THE LEBANON REPORTER
CRAWFORDSVILLE — Western Boone’s Jack Fortner and Daniel Collins teamed up to lead the Stars to the sectional finals.
Fortner and Collins each scored a goal in the first half and both scored again in the second and the Stars cruised to a 4-0 victory over North Montgomery in the IHSAA boys soccer sectional semifinal at Crawfordsville High School on Wednesday.
Western Boone moves on to face Crawfordsville in the sectional championship at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Against North Montgomery, the Stars took advantage of every opportunity.
“Really, there’s no shame in losing to a team like Western Boone,” North Montgomery coach Mike Margeson said. “I’m not upset with the way that we played. I thought we did really well. Western Boone just finished opportunities when they had them. We had a couple of good opportunities and it just didn’t fall our way.”
Fortner scored on an open shot to give the Stars a 1-0 lead with 6:22 remaining in the first half.
Nearly a minute later, Collins broke away and scored to give the Stars a 2-0 halftime lead.
“Both of them are always looking to shoot and always looking for the opportunity,”Western Boone coach Lucas Dull said. “It was good onetwo passes to get a player open and they had a good look.”
Fortner found enough room to score again at the 33:09 mark in the second half before Collins scored with 24:45 remaining to give Western Boone a 4-0 lead.
“Their two forwards (Fortner and Collins) are extremely good players,” Margeson said. “They can exploit little gaps and little mistakes that you make, even in the slightest.”
Western Boone beat North Montgomery 5-0 in the regular season in a similar fastpaced game — the way Dull likes his team to play.
“We want the game to be fast and we want the ball to never stop,” he said. “We also want our whole team so compact that everybody’s always involved and that speeds up the game, too.”
North Montgomery keeper Logan Slovacek finished with 12 saves in the goal.
Western Boone’s Andrew Knecht had five saves and Patrick Bagwell finished with one. Western Boone is 9-6-1 on the year. North Montgomery finishes the year 8-8.
Western Boone and Crawfordsville faced in the first game of the season, with the Stars winning 5-1.
• Jim Johnson is the Sports Editor of the Crawfordsville Journal Review.
LEFT: WESTERN BOONE’S DANIEL COLLINS controls a ball on Wednesday night. Collins had two goals in the Stars’ win. RIGHT: WESTERN BOONE’S JACK FORTNERworks past a North Montgomery defender on Wednesday. Fortner scored two goals in the Stars’ 4-0 win.
Photos by Kevin Seale | For the Lebanon Reporter