Boys Soccer: Evanston strikes late to earn tie with Maine South

Updated: September 27, 2012 9:19PM

Maine South was less than three minutes away from a share of the Central Suburban South championship Thursday.

But Evanston’s Jonathan Balthazar scored on a restart in the 88th minute to earn the Wildkits a 2-all tie with the Hawks in the final game of the conference schedule.

“It was a good game, a hard-fought game from beginning to end,” said Evanston coach Franz Calixte, whose team went 1-2-2 in the conference.

“It’s playoff soccer right now.”

Maine South was up 2-1 with 30:30 to play after Nick Malone’s second goal of the game, but the Hawks couldn’t close it out.

“We should have found a way to get it done,” said Maine South coach Dan States, whose club finished 3-1-1 in league play.

With Maine South’s tie, Waukegan won its first-ever CSL South title at 4-1. Evanston was frustrated with the tie, but it was better than a loss.

It was the team’s first game since beating New Trier 2-0 on Sept. 20.

“We were struggling at the beginning of the year, but we are starting to hit our stride,” Evanston senior Michael Deremo said. “We are turning it on at the right time of the season.”

Maine South, which received the No. 2 seed at the New Trier Sectional earlier in the day, might have lost senior captain Calvin Miller for the season. States wasn’t sure about the injury, but the coach said the defender hurt his knee. The playoffs start in less than two weeks.

“He’s a terrific player,” States said. “He bottles it up in the back, and he generates the attack in the middle. Losing him presented some different challenges for us.”

Down 1-0 at intermission, the Wildkits, who got the No. 8 seed at the sectional, tied it up on Gus Fleps’ header in the fifth minute of the second half off a pass from Daniel Lev.

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