Boys Soccer: Nick Winter, St Viator chill Wheaton Academy for third place

Story Image As Wheaton's #8 Grant Stoneman drives for the net, he has St. Viator defender
#17 Ethan Wolfe actually sit on his back while his teammate #22 escapes with the ball, during the State Finals 3rd Place game at Lincolnway North in Frankfort on
11/3/12. | John Booz~for the Sun Times Media
Story Image

Updated: November 5, 2012 11:28AM

The chilly conditions at the Class 2A state soccer finals didn’t bother Nick Winter Saturday.

Winter had a goal and an assist to propel St. Viator to a 2-1 victory over Wheaton Academy in the third-place match at Lincoln-Way North. The win gave the Lions (21-4-3) their second victory over Wheaton this season and their fourth third-place trophy to go with two state titles: a second and a fourth.

The result took some of the sting out of Friday’s 2-1 loss to Peoria Notre Dame.

“I think yesterday when we went down 1-0 we all just panicked and kind of started not playing the way we know how, so today we just really settled it down and started to possess the ball better,” Winter said. “It felt really good just to be able to finish the season on a good game like that.”

Winter, a junior midfielder, opened the scoring with 23:17 left in the first half when he scored from a sharp angle outside the right post after a scramble in the box following a long throw-in from Ethan Wolfe.

It was the team-leading 11th goal for Winter, who is one of many contributors to St. Viator’s balanced attack. While junior midfielder Spencer Moore, who had five goals and 17 assists, created the most havoc this season, six players had between six and 11 goals.

That group does not include junior Kevin Klinkenberg, who made it 2-0 when he scored his third goal of the year on an open 12-yard shot at the 20:24 mark of the second half. Winter set up that tally by dribbling to the left end line before finding Klinkenberg with a perfect cross.

Wheaton Academy (21-8) had several good chances thwarted by Lions goalie Michael McGrath, who made five of his six saves in the first half while the game was still in doubt.

“We had our chances yesterday,” said St. Viator coach Mike Taylor, who accomplished the rare feat of guiding his school’s girls and boys teams to third-place trophies in the same calendar year. “Those things happen. They came back loose today and we played all 22 players.

“It’s the ride the kids remember. Yeah, it’s nice to finish with a championship trophy, but you know what, at least they came back today and showed what they were made of and they were good.”

Wheaton Academy, which lost back-to-back games for the first time this fall, also had a memorable ride, winning 15 of 16 games to reach the semifinals for the second time. Junior Grant Stoneman scored on a penalty kick with 14:41 remaining for the Warriors.

It was the 29th goal of the season for Stoneman, who ranks third on Wheaton’s single-season scoring list behind Rob Mouw and Nick Fichera.

“Since the 6-5 start we definitely stepped it up,” said Stoneman, who also led his team in assists with 18. “We definitely fixed our problems. We ended up pretty well.”

“It’s been a great group,” Wheaton Academy coach Jeff Brooke said. “It will be memorable, not just in my mind, but in Wheaton Academy history for what they did.

“To get fourth at the 2A level is a fantastic accomplishment. You lose two games in 24 hours, it feels weird, but in 24 hours we’ll be thrilled with the way we played and represented our school.”

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