Miller Dominance: The NHS boys soccer team earns their first state championship


Photo by Gabe Fryling

The Noblesville Millers boys soccer team poses with their championship trophy. They defeated Carmel High School 3-1 Saturday night to become IHSAA state champions.

Gabe Fryling and Parker Mutter

It was a long road for the Noblesville Millers boys soccer team. Weeks of practice sessions, countless film reviews and 21 games have led up to this moment. A goal of winning a state championship was set by previous generations of Millers, and this was the first team to make it this far. It was the night of October 30th, as the Noblesville Millers faced the Carmel Greyhounds in the boys soccer state championship.

The Millers started off strong, showing the dominance that led them to a 20-1-1 season. They maintained possession and created threatening attacks immediately, winning a corner within the first 4 minutes. Then the hammer dropped and the Millers struck first, as a ball bounced around in the box and senior Brady Horn smashed it into the back of the net to give the Millers the lead within the first 4 minutes. 

“Getting that first goal, especially within the first five minutes, was important,” Millers head coach Kenneth Dollaske said. 

The Millers continued to keep the pressure on, effectively holding possession in the Greyhound’s end of the field for most of the first half. Then just before the 20 minute mark, senior Spencer Holland threaded the needle to senior Palmer Ault, who curled the kick around the Carmel goalkeeper to extend the Noblesville lead to 2-0.

“I saw the keeper going down the line, I just took a touch, and there was no defender to clear it off the line,” Ault said. 

The early two goal lead created a confidence boost for the Millers, and this showed in their play, stretching the field and passing the ball crisply on a field the players described as “very big.” The strong start carried through into the second half as Ault returned the favor to Holland, assisting him on the team’s third goal of the night. 

“I had faith in Spencer, and as soon as I got that ball off, I knew he was gonna score and we were already celebrating,” Ault said.

This third goal gave the Millers some breathing room, allowing them to play more comfortably as they continued to control the game for most of the second half. Despite a late Carmel goal, the Millers felt comfortable, and were waiting for the clock to run out, said Dollaske. 

“Our guys were able to clamp down and seal it…The clock was ticking and we got a free kick with over a minute left, and everyone could exhale, and we were able to take our time and kill the clock. And at that point, we knew we were state champions,” Dollaske explained. 

Then as the clock hit zero, the Noblesville crowd erupted, while the bench ran onto the field and the players all circled up near half-field. To become state champions had been a team goal since the team first met this summer, and after last year’s heartbreaking loss in sectionals, they felt this championship was coming from the moment the season began.

“We worked so hard together, each and every day and coming short [last year], it motivated us to work harder the next year,” Ault said. “That final one last year boiled up inside us, and we had one goal, and there is no better way to go out as a senior than to win a state title.”

The Miller team say they share a strong bond, many players competing together since elementary school. The senior class is especially known for their camaraderie, and this added motivation for them to work even harder and win this title together.

“I’ve known most of these guys since I was 8 years old, working everyday, every week, to get better for a common goal, which was winning a state championship and finally getting it to pay off. And it’s put us through the roof. It feels so nice,” senior captain Kyle Goad said. 

Everyone on the team from coaches to players were ecstatic to win a state title, congratulating each other, taking photos together, especially with the trophy. But no one seemed to smile any bigger than Dollaske. 

“I’m super-proud of this team and I know everyone here is super-proud of what we’ve accomplished,” Dollaske said. “Winning a state title is not easy, and we’ve had the talent to win a state title the past couple of years, and we haven’t been able to do it. This year we were able to break through, and a weight has been lifted off our backs.”

This championship isn’t the end for the Millers either, Dollaske said. He already has an eye on next year, and he believes the team he has returning could be the start of something memorable. 

“We’ve gotten one, but I know with the amount of pride we have, I don’t think we’re done,” Dollaske said. “We are gonna take this and elevate to new heights, and this is not the end. This is the beginning for this program.”