Boys Soccer: Pat Flynn’s goal lifts Naperville Central over Benet

Story Image Naperville Central's Jack Burdett (23) goes over the top of Benet Academy's Brad Bozych on Saturday, October 6, 201 at Naperville Central High School in Naperville IL.
| Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Story Image

Updated: October 6, 2012 10:03PM

Pat Flynn insists that he doesn’t enjoy beating Benet more than any other team, but don’t tell the Redwings that.

Flynn has won a lot of games for Naperville Central this fall, but none in more dramatic fashion than how he beat Benet on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium. The senior forward scored on a spectacular 19-yard free kick with 8:30 left in the second half to lift the host Redhawks to a come-from-behind 2-1 Senior Night victory.

It was the second time this season that Flynn has scored the game-winner against Benet. He also did it on the same field on Sept. 1, when his 23-yard shot on the run with 39 seconds left lifted Naperville Central to a 1-0 victory in the Best of the West title game.

“I was thinking about that last time,” Flynn said. “It was something the coaches said, ‘why don’t you score quicker?’ I waited until [eight] minutes left.”

While it came earlier in the contest, this shot was more dramatic. Benet (14-3-1) looked to be in good shape with an eight-man defensive wall in front of star goalie Kyle Dal Santo, but Flynn swerved the ball over the wall and under the crossbar. Dal Santo, who barely moved, didn’t see it until the last second.

“We know that Kyle Dal Santo is a great goalie and it’s going to be something special scoring on him,” Flynn said. “They had two short kids on the end of the wall, so I was just aiming right above their heads and hoping it would go over.”

The goal was the 22nd of the season for Flynn, who is Naperville Central’s career scoring leader with 42. The majority of those goals have been game-winners.

“I don’t know what it is,” Flynn said with a smile. “It’s just you’ve got to put shots on frame and eventually they’re going to go in.”

“You’ve got to hand it to him,” Dal Santo said. “I saw it at the last second, but from where he’s at, it is really difficult for the goalkeeper. It’s hard to react to. He placed it really well.”

The Redwings outplayed Naperville Central at times and grabbed a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the contest on a goal by Paddy Lawler. Benet had several good chances to extend the lead but Redhawks goalie Mike Pavliga made five saves, including a diving stop on Eddie Manzke’s open 17-yard shot in the first half.

The Redhawks (15-1) tied the game at the 12:47 mark of the first half when Jack Patrick played a long ball into the box to fellow senior Alexsi Pelkonen, who beat Dal Santo with a short shot inside the right post for his second goal of the season.

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