Fall Sports Have a Big Weekend

The weekend of Oct. 14-16 saw lots of Irish fall sports action, headlined by a few major upsets.


Sophomore goalkeeper Jett Wallmeier has been essential to the team’s playoff success, helping them to three straight tournament victories in penalty kicks.

As the fall sports season approaches its conclusion, many of the Irish sports teams are entering or in the midst of tournament runs, hoping to add another 2022 Indiana-shaped plaque to hang in the Welch Activity Center.

And with six teams competing — five in tournament play — it was an action packed weekend for Irish sports fans from Oct. 14-16. 

The excitement began in excellent fashion on Friday, Oct. 14, with the football game at Center Grove. The team roared back from a 29-13 deficit, scoring 27 unanswered fourth quarter points and handing the Trojans their first home loss since 2019. The comeback led by junior quarterback Danny O’Neil has the team on a six game winning streak heading into its Sectional matchup with Lawrence North on Oct. 28.

Saturday, Oct. 15, was another big day, with both men’s and women’s soccer and cross-country competing in their respective Regional matchups, and women’s volleyball in their Sectional.

The day began bright and early for the cross country teams, with their Regional meet at White River Elementary in Noblesville. Although neither team managed to advance to Semi-State, senior Liam Eifert took 14th, advancing individually for the men’s team. Senior Grace Bragg and junior Lucy Marquart advanced for the women’s team, taking 11th and 24th respectively.

Women’s volleyball went 2-0 on Saturday at Arsenal Tech in the Sectional, beating North Central and Lawrence North and clinching their fifth straight Regional appearance. The team will face Brownsburg on Oct. 22.

Men’s and women’s soccer traveled to Carmel to play their respective Regional final games. The women’s team played first against the third ranked Greyhounds, but despite goals from senior Anna Spellacy and junior Catherine Cline, fell 4-2.

The men’s game, however, was a different story. They went into the game as massive underdogs, facing the Greyhounds, who were ranked third in the nation by MaxPreps at the time. The team faced Carmel in the regular season on Sept. 22, losing 4-1, but Head Coach Mr. Joel Russell believed that the team was better prepared for the second matchup.

“I’m sure there was a little looking past us from Carmel. They beat us 4-1 during the regular season, but as we reviewed the tape from the game, much of Carmel’s success stemmed from our mistakes.”

Russell mentioned the tightening of the defensive line as an adjustment that the team made following the first Carmel game, and it seems that those adjustments paid off. 

The Irish struck first, as senior Josh Wesseling put in a goal during the first period, with an assist from junior Landon Korous. The team led 1-0 at half, but with under 20 minutes left, Carmel evened the score. 

Both defenses held, and the game entered into overtime, where it was more of the same. The Irish defense, captained by sophomore goalkeeper Jett Wallmeier, held strong. For the third straight game, the Irish were going to penalty kicks. 

Wallmeier stopped Carmel’s first two attempts, before Wessling, senior Ayrton Graziano and sophomore Cal Kurzawa put their shots past Carmel’s keeper. The Greyhounds connected on their next two shots, making the score 3-2, but missed their next attempt. Then, junior Belachew Neal ensured the victory with a goal, making the final 4-2 in penalty kicks. 

Russell expressed his love for the team after the win, saying, “I’m so proud of how our team executed on the game plan, played together as a team and showed their grit and determination.”

However, the team is not done yet. They will face what Russell described as a “very good” Columbus North team in Semistate. 

Very good could be an understatement. MaxPreps has the Bulldogs rated fourth in the nation, and they hold a record of 18-1-1, including a win over the Irish on Sept. 1. 

Despite likely being underdogs again, Russell knows what the team needs to do. He said, “Columbus North beat us earlier in the season 1-0 and we’ll need to use that game as a tool to learn from and make corrections if we want to advance to the State finals.”