Boys Soccer: Naperville Central continues impressive run with 3-0 win over Stevenson

Updated: November 2, 2012 10:05PM

Entering the Class 3A state semifinals Friday night, Stevenson had allowed a paltry 23 goals in 12 games.

Naperville Central scored three goals in 27 minutes as the top-ranked Redhawks continued their magical run with an impressive 3-0 victory over the No. 5 Patriots at Lincoln-Way North in Frankfort.

With the victory, Naperville Central qualified for its second consecutive state championship appearance against No. 2 Warren Saturday night.

The Redhawks (23-1) never let Stevenson get comfortable. “We knew that because they were such a great defensive team, we had to get and get an early goal and get the momentum,” star Naperville Central striker Pat Flynn said.

Naperville Central lost a 1-0 overtime heartbreaker against Morton in last year’s state final. The Redhawks’ dominant performance put them one step closer to achieving their collective redemption. “We knew we couldn’t just come out thinking we were going to win, that we had to play well and hard, because of all the upsets in the tournament so far this year,” Flynn said.

The DePaul-bound Flynn staked further claim to one of the great individual years in Chicago high school soccer by raising his season marks to 30 goals and 10 assists. His unassisted score in the ninth minute started the first half onslaught.

Five minutes later, Jack Patrick, the team’s second leading scorer with nine goals, punched the ball in from a beautiful feed from Sam Reskala for the quick 2-0 advantage. David Murphy finished the scoring by blasting in a short ball that Flynn assisted.

With the comfortable margin, Naperville Central was willing to play a defensive-oriented game. Naperville Central coach Troy Adams wanted a more complete effort. “We’ve had a problem sometime this year putting two great halves together,” he said. “I thought we could have finished stronger.”

Stevenson (18-5-1) managed only three shots on goal. Their primary weapon was punching lobs to star senior midfielder Michael Weinstein. The Redhawks packed the box and rarely gave Weinstein or his teammates room to maneuver.

“We knew [Weinstein] was their guy, he’s a great player, and we always wanted to make sure somebody was guarding him. A couple of times we slipped up, but for the most part, we just made sure there was always somebody in front of him, especially on the lobs to take that away.”

“They were very good, but we were unlucky,” Stevenson coach Mark Schartner said. “as you saw, one of those goals was re-directed. You have to give Naperville a lot of credit.

“They’re a great team, by far the best we’ve played against this year.”

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