Boys Soccer: Michael Adams scores winning goal for Metea ValleyAdham Elshalakani (22) of Plainfield East and Jake Goehring of Metea Valley jockey for position on a throw in from the sideline. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 16, 2012 10:32PM
Metea Valley freshman Michael Adams has been looking for his first career goal all season. In the first half of Tuesday’s Class 3A Metea Valley Regional opener against Plainfield East, he had a perfect opportunity for it — only to see it squashed by a fantastic defensive play.
Later on in the game, however, Adams had the last laugh.
Adams got a toe on a Chris Freeman free kick with 21:33 left in the second half to give the Mustangs a 2-1 comeback win over the Bengals. Metea Valley advances to Saturday’s 1 p.m. regional final against West Chicago, which beat Oswego East 2-1 in the other semifinal.
“It felt very significant to me,” Adams said. “Obviously it was significant for the team too, the go-ahead goal.”
With 21:01 left in the first half and Plainfield East already up 1-0, a collision knocked Plainfield East goalie Isaias Marquez out of the play, leaving Adams with a golden opportunity for his first career goal. Defender Reid Mitchell came flying in front of the goal and knocked Adams’ shot away with a header to keep the Bengals in the lead at the half.
“That was a phenomenal save,” Adams said. “I was very disappointed that he got to that, but it was a great job on his part. That shot frustrated me a lot, but thanks to all my teammates, they told me to keep my head up and I did that.”
The Mustangs (9-6-4) finally tied the game up at the 34:46 mark of the second half when another Freeman free kick found Jake Goehring for a header. That set up Adams’ heroics.
Freeman fired a free kick from the far side of the field that curled toward the near post. Adams got a toe on it and deflected it off a defender and past Marquez to give the Mustangs a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.
“(Freeman) played a great ball and he floated it over the goalkeeper, who was a little bit out of position,” Adams said. “I was able to just get a toe on it and it went in.”
Plainfield East had one last shot in the final seconds, but a direct kick from Mike Brazinski was saved by Metea Valley keeper Gabriel Gongora with 10 seconds left to seal the win and set up a rematch with West Chicago. The Mustangs fell to West Chicago 3-0 earlier this season.
“We struggled against them at the beginning of the year,” Metea Valley coach Josh Robinson said. “They flat-out outplayed us. I think our boys are a little bit prepared. They’re a fantastic team. It will be a tough match for our boys, so hopefully we come out to play.”
Oswego East senior Oliver Czopek scored the Wolves’ lone goal with 33 seconds left in the match as the Wolves fell 2-1 to West Chicago. They finished the season with a 6-13-2 record.