Boys soccer: Tipp’s 47-game unbeaten streak ends in state championship game

Tippecanoe's Clay Vaughn makes a save in the first half against Warren Howland in the Division II state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff
Tippecanoe's Clay Vaughn makes a save in the first half against Warren Howland in the Division II state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff

Howland avenges 1-0 loss to Tippecanoe in 2010 title game

Tippecanoe’s 47-game unbeaten streak, which tied for the third-longest in state history, came to an end in the Division II boys soccer state championship game Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus.

Warren Howland scored four goals in the second half to beat Tippecanoe 5-0, avenging a 1-0 defeat in the 2019 title game. Tippecanoe allowed as many goals in one game as it had allowed in the last 19 games combined.

“We got beat by a better team,” Tippecanoe coach Scott Downing said. “They had the desire to win it, but in general, they were the better team.”

Howland won its first state championship in its second state appearance. Tippecanoe fell short of becoming the first back-to-back state champion in boys soccer since Columbus DeSales (2014-15).

Tippecanoe did not lose last season, finishing 23-0-1 in its state championship season. It finished 23-1 in 2020.

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“I’m proud of them,” Downing said. “What they did last year, what they did this year, you can’t ask for anything more. I think everybody’s a little defeated that we lost here in the finals, but they deserved to win. They just outplayed us.”

This was Tippecanoe’s first loss since Oct. 31, 2018, when it fell 2-1 to Cincinnati Summit Country Day in the regional semifinals. It has not lost a regular-season game since Sept. 27, 2018: 2-1 to Alter.

Dayton Carroll owns the state record with a 68-game unbeaten streak from 2010-13. Cleveland St. Ignatius ranks second with a 61-game unbeaten streak (2014-17). Tippecanoe tied Cincinnati Madeira’s 47-game unbeaten streak (2002-04).

“They don’t realize that now,” Downing said, “but I think it will dawn on them in another week or two that they did accomplish major things this year. It’s going to take a while for it to kick in. It always does. They’ll be fine.”

It was evenly-played game in the first half. Howland broke through with a goal by Gabi Lisi off an assist by Gabriel Altawil with 2:47 left in the half.

Even though it faced only a 1-0 deficit at halftime, Downing did not feel good about his team’s chances.

“You could just sort of see it building,” he said.

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Howland controlled play throughout the second half and put the game away with a flurry of goals. Kylan Mowatt-Larssen scored three minutes into the half. Jordan Sperling scored with 26:26 remaining. Sperling scored again eight minutes later on a breakaway. Tristen Rose scored the final goal in the 77th minute.

Howland had 10 shots on goal to Tippcanoe’s two.

“We wore ourselves out and didn’t do a good job of connecting passes and keeping possession,” Downing said. “When you can’t do that, you’re just going to run yourself to death playing defense. Our defense is working hard, but eventually when you’re giving up that many chances, the goals are going to start dropping.”

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