Boys Soccer: WW South edges Naperville North 2-1 in PKs for regional title

Story Image Connor Sharples (top) of Naperville North heads the ball over Jurguen Gomez of Wheaton Warrenville South. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Story Image

Updated: October 20, 2012 9:49PM

Wheaton Warrenville South goalie Timothy Reinders succeeded in making the one save he believed would make a difference while the Tigers got nothing but success offensively in order to claim a 2-1 penalty kick shootout win Saturday over Class 3A regional host Naperville North.

With the DuPage Valley Conference rivals having battled to a 1-1 regulation draw and neither side able to score during the two overtime periods, it came down to penalty kicks and that’s where the No. 6 seeded Tigers bounced No. 2 seed Naperville North from the playoffs.

Max Carey – who converted a penalty kick 9:25 into the match – started the shootout with a shot into the upper left. Reinders then blocked the initial attempt by the Huskies’ Connor Sharples and the Tigers got follow-up conversions from Patrick Nielsen, Jose Perez, and Javier Rojas in building a 4-3 lead. That’s when defender Samuel Gesessew gave WW South the insurmountable 5-3 advantage to nullify Npaerville North even taking its fifth attempt.

The Tigers (13-8-2) advance to Tuesday’s 6:30 pm second semifinal of the West Chicago Sectional against Metea Valley, which won its own regional defeating West Chicago 1-0. Naperville North, which tallied a 4-1 regular-season road win over Wheaton South, ended the season at 15-4.

“The number one thing coach always tells us on PKs is to never change your mind; pick one side to shoot for and stick to it, so that’s what I did,” said Gesessew, who tallied his second goal of the season. “I (also) had the very first one of the year.”

At which point Reinders chimed in: “but hopefully not the first and the last.”

“In our huddle (prior to the shootout), everyone told me ‘You only have to get one,’ so that was my mindset. When I saw his set-up, I thought I could read which way he was going to go so I simply committed to making the stop,” Reinders recalled. “Seeing the ball come exactly where I expected was an amazing feeling, but then I was also thinking don’t lose focus and let it through.”

Naperville North was on the offensive throughout the second half, initially negating a 1-0 halftime deficit and pushing for a potential match-winner via a series of headers or shots on goal often thanks to stellar throw-ins from Colin McBride. The Huskies’ Joe Sullivan nodded home a six-yarder inside the left half of the net after 53:14. It was the senior standout’s 16th goal of the year, giving him a team-best 47 points when coupled with the 15 assists that helped him move into second on the school’s all-time career assist chart with 36 set-ups.

“Regardless of the outcome, I’m not a fan of the IHSA’s decision to forgo the potential of four overtimes with this year’s format of two, 10-minute periods followed immediately by a shootout,” Npaerville North coach Jim Konrad said. “It’s just not the way you want to win or lose. It’s too much of a worst-case scenario in that there’s going to be one player with a terrible lasting memory because he didn’t convert his attempt or make a certain save.”

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