“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.
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.”