Amazing run ends as Tippecanoe boys soccer falls to Howland in D-II state championship game

COLUMBUS — It didn’t end the way the Tippecanoe boys soccer seniors had hoped Saturday afternoon in a D-II state soccer championship game at MAPFRE Stadium against Warren Howland.

And while the 5-0 loss that brought an 47-game unbeaten streak and 35-game win streak to an end was difficult for the seniors who had given so much to the program the last two years to accept, in time Andrew Baileys, Jonny Baileys, Jack Kleckner, Gavin Darner, Zach Davis, Owen Hadden, Blake Heeley, Bryce Martin, Jake Smith, Owen Trimble and Clay Vaughn will understand the legacy — not just in the Tippecanoe record books, but in state soccer annals they left.

“They can’t see that right now,” Tippecanoe boys soccer coach Scott Downing said. “They are to upset right now. But, they will realize it.”

Over the last two years, the Red Devils have done something on the soccer pitch that is almost unheard of in state history.

Their 47-match unbeaten streak — they had a 2-2 tie with Alter in 2019 — was the third longest in state boys soccer history. During that stretch, Tipp outscored opponents 258-23.

The Red Devils 35-game win streak — in which they outscored opponents 178-16 — was the second longest in state history.

It was much more than Downing could have ever expected.

“I thought we could make some good runs,” Downing said about the last two years. “It is tough just to get out of our regionals. It is (amazing what the teams accomplished).”

On Saturday, the same Howland team that had lost 1-0 to Tippecanoe in the championship game a year ago was ready and determined to even the score.

And, while Tippecanoe kept Howland off the board for more than 37 minutes before Gabe Lisi put a deflection back in the net with 2:47 remaining in the first half, Downing could see the writing on the wall.

“No, not at all,” Downing said about feeling OK down just 1-0 at halftime. “You could just see what was happening. We weren’t able to put any pressure on them. When you can’t do that and your defense is under pressure the whole game, eventually the defense is going to wear down.”

And, that is exactly what happened.

A Tipp team that had surrendered just six goals all season, allowed four more in the second half to close the season at 23-1.

It started with Kylan Mowatt-Larssen interception a Tipp attempt to clear the ball and putting it in the net with 36:23 to go in the game.

Jordan Sperling scored the next two goals, the first at the 26:27 mark and the second with 18:59 remaining off a long ball.

Tristen Rose finished the scoring on a goal with 2:37 remaining and Gabriel Altawil had two assists.

Howland outshot Tipp 20-10 and keeper Lucas Brill had just two saves, to Clay Vaughn’s five.

“The better team won today,” Downing said. “It is as simple that.”

Downing hopes the game was a learning experience for his younger players.

“I hope it is a wake-up call for them,” he said. “To play against the highest level of competition so you can be the best player you can behind.”

A legacy the Tippecanoe teams — and seniors — demonstrated over the last two years.