Caravel earns Division II soccer state title with 2-0 win over Indian River

SMYRNA — Caravel Academy captured the 2017 Division II soccer state championship with Saturday night’s 2-0 shutout victory over Indian River.

Goals from Austyn Hamilton and Ben Schwartz, and a strong performance from junior goalkeeper Eric Fasteson, helped Caravel earn the championship in the blustering wind at Smyrna High.

“It’s an amazing feeling, words can’t describe it,” said Ben Schwartz after the win. “We worked so, so hard this year. We persevered throughout the year, stuck with it and it just worked out tonight.”

“It feels good. It doesn’t matter who it’s against, any time you get a result like this – especially a state championship – it feels good,” said Caravel head coach Kyle Ellis. “I’m especially proud of these boys, this is a special group of boys and I couldn’t be prouder.”

Though Caravel lost to this same IR squad in the championship two years ago, Ellis claims this wasn’t a redemption game.

“It’s a lot of the same kids for both teams, but I wouldn’t really call it a redemption,” he said. “It was more like just coming out and proving it to ourselves. Last year was a little bit of a down year, so it was more about just putting our heads down and getting to work so we can come back out on top.”

After playing a 0-0 deadlock through the first 27 minutes, junior Austyn Hamilton broke the tie with a goal in the 28th minute.

The lead would be extended in the 56th minute with a goal from Schwartz.

“I saw the defender was a little to my left, so I cut right, picked my head up and saw where the goalie was,” Schwartz said. “The left side was open, so I went for it and hit it perfectly.”

IR had a few scoring opportunities in the second half but were unable to capitalize.

“They did a ton of work, and I’m really proud of where they ended up,” IR head coach Steve Kilby said. “It’s unfortunate, in the second half we had three opportunities to tie it up and made poor decisions and then we started chasing the game.”

The two-goal advantage and a strong second-half performance from goalie Eric Fasteson was enough to fend off the Indians.

“Eric is amazing. He works so hard in the net and makes sure nothing gets by him and that’s what happened tonight,” Schwartz said of his goalie’s performance.

Indian River caps the 2017 fall season with a 14-4 record, including a pair of playoff victories.

“Our growth was exceptional this season,” Kilby said. “I’m so proud of the effort they put in to make it this far.”

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