MARYSVILLE — Tippecanoe boys soccer junior Landon Haas and the Red Devils are living the dream.
And the dream season continues after Haas added to his amazing soccer resume with a goal in the second overtime to give Tippecanoe a 2-1 victory over Bishop Watterson Wednesday night at Marysville High School’s Impact Stadium in a D-II state semifinal.
Tipp, 21-1-1, will play Richfield Revere, 20-0-2, in the state championship game at 1 p.m. Saturday at Historical Crew Stadium.
Revere defeated Mentor Lake Catholic 2-0 Wednesday night.
“It is a dream (to be playing for a state championship),” Haas said after scoring from 40 yards out with 3:00 remaining in the second overtime to stun Bishop Watterson and send the Tippecanoe sidelines and crowd into a frenzy. “It is something I have dreamed about since I was a little kid. Watching all my older brothers play. Now, it is our time to shine.”
Tipp will be playing in its third state title game in five years, having won the state title in 2019 and finishing state runnerup in 2020.
“I get emotional just thinking about it,” Tippecanoe coach Joel Slyman said about playing for a state championship. “I am just so proud of these kids. This is what we have been working for all season.”
And Haas did it in his typical fashion — nothing short of amazing.
Earlier in the tournament, he had scored from almost midfield on a direct kick. He had Tipp’s only goal in the district championship win over Oakwood and both goals in the regional championship win over Summit Country Day on Saturday.
“Big-time players come through in big-time moments,” Slyman said.
Caleb Ransom had crossed the ball to Haas, who was near the 40-year line.
“Landon (Haas) is such a great player,” Ransom said. “Anytime he has the ball, he can score.
Moments later, Haas sent the crowd into a frenzy.
“The backside was open,” Haas said. “I just drilled it into the top of the net. Game over. Simple as that. It is not just me it is the whole team. This is about my teammates, coaches and the community. We play for them.”
After a scoreless first half, Ransom had given Tippecanoe a 1-0 lead early in the second half.
“Cameron (Smith) had a long throw-in,” Slyman said. “It was into the wind. Just throw it up and see what happens.”
The ball deflected off an Eagle defender and Ransom was in position to put it in the goal with 33:05 remaining in the game.
“We always talk about being able to get the dirty goals,” Ramsom said. “Being able to take advantage when the opportunity is there and I was able to do that.”
Bishop Watterson was able to answer with a perfectly placed shot by Caden Davis with 25:07 remaining in the game.
It looked like Tippecanoe goalie Michael Jergens — who had six saves on the night — had made an incredible save going high in the air.
But, the ball came loose and bounced into the goal.
“Michael (Jergens) was really disappointed about that,” Slyman said about only the second goal Tipp has allowed in the postseason. “But, I knew the team would have Michael’s back and I am so glad that they did.”
It looked like the game might end early in the first overtime.
Watterson was called for a foul just outside the box just 1:30 into the overtime.
Haas’ direct kick was ruled a goal at first, setting off a wild celebration near midfield.
But, moments late, it was waived off.
“It was the right call,” Slyman said. “The shot was wide of the goal, but the official signaled that it was a goal. But, they got the call right.”
That set the stage for Haas and some more heroics on the soccer pitch, giving Tipp a chance to make some more history Saturday.
“It is something we have dreamed about,” Ransom said. “Hopefully, we can make the community crowd. Really, I just lover playing soccer with these guys.”
And they get to do that one more time as the dream season continues.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]