In 2008, Ramon Aguillon took over as Zionsville’s girls soccer head coach and with that he inherited a small, local tournament.
Aguillon dreams big.
Seven years later, the Zionsville Lady Eagle Invitational has evolved into the most important fall high school girls soccer multi-state event. This year’s invitational features 29 teams from Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, including two current No. 1s, the Kentucky No. 2 and the entire Top 8 in Indiana.
"It was a small Indiana tournament," Aguillon said of the event’s early years. "But I wanted to grow it into something regionally important. The better teams it attracts, the more (other) teams want to come."
Among this year’s first-time participants are Medina (Medina, Ohio), ranked No. 1 in Ohio and No. 5 in the latest SIMA FAB 50, and Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.), the No. 7 team in Indiana. They join an already strong field.
Seven current SIMA FAB 50 teams highlight the tournament, three others who were in the FAB 50 earlier this fall and eight other TopDrawerSoccer.com state-ranked teams are in the event. The current SIMA FAB 50-ranked teams are No. 5 Medina, No. 11 Fishers (Fishers, Ind.), No. 12 Carmel (Carmel, Ind.), No. 21 Brebeuf Jesuit (Indianapolis, Ind.), No. 45 Evansville Memorial (Evansville, Ind.), No. 46 Penn (Mishawaka, Ind.) and No. 47 Sacred Heart Academy (Louisville, Ky.).
The two-day event is set up in showcase style with featured matches played on the Zionsville Youth Soccer Association Championship Field. All 55 contests will be played at the ZYSA complex.
TopDrawerSoccer will provide Twitter updates at ESRSoccer during the contests Friday and Saturday.
GAMES TO WATCH:
The current No. 1 teams in Indiana and Ohio clash in the Friday night finale. Although Fishers is coming off a loss that will likely end its reign at state No. 1, a win here would help validate the strength and depth of Indiana soccer. Conversely, Medina could find itself in the national title chase very quickly with a weekend sweep in Indiana.
Sacred Heart is coming off a loss to Owensboro Catholic (Ky.) in a Kentucky No. 1 vs. No. 2 clash. Now Sacred Heart is playing a Noblesville team that just knocked off top-ranked Fishers.
A loss by Indiana No. 1 Fishers on Wednesday opens the door for the winner of this Indiana No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchup to inherit the top spot next week.
Medina vs. Noblesville, Saturday, 4:45 p.m.
Earlier matches will determine the meaning of this contest, but by the time these teams take the field Saturday afternoon, the SIMA FAB 50 No. 1, 2 and 4 teams will have finished their mixer in New Jersey — perhaps creating a chance for Medina to move up in the rankings.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Position: Name, Grade, School, College Commitment
F: Jessi Cowen, Jr., Carmel (Ind.)
F: Caroline Newland, Jr., Evansville Memorial (Ind.)
M: Abby Wainman, Sr., Evansville North (Ind.)