Boys Soccer: Hinckley-Big Rock bound for state

Story Image Hinckley-Big Rock's Zach Michels, center, fights for the ball with Cristo Rey Jesuit's Kevin Rojas, right, during their supersectional game at Naperville North High School on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Story Image

Updated: October 23, 2012 10:30PM

Bernie Conley and the rest of his Hinckley-Big Rock teammates found themselves back in a familiar position.

A year ago, the Royals advanced to the Class 1A supersectional round only to go home thanks to an overtime defeat. This time around, thanks to Conley’s efforts, Hinckley-Big Rock scored a 4-0 victory against Cristo Rey Jesuit in a Class 1A supersectional match played Tuesday night at Naperville North.

The Royals (21-4) advance to the state soccer tournament for the first time since 2003 and will play in the state semifinals at 5 p.m. Friday against Alton-Marquette Catholic. This weekend’s Class 1A semifinals and championship matches will take place at The Corn Crib in Normal.

“We knew coming in that we were one of the better teams remaining in state and we were came in expecting to win,” Conley said.

The matched started a bit slow, as Cristo Rey, which is located on Chicago’s far southwest side, took the play to Hinckley-Big Rock.

Once the Royals adjusted, they picked up the pace and went ahead for good in the 13th minute.

Conley put the goal in motion when he gained possession near the Cristeros’ penalty area. Conley then flicked the ball to teammate Zach Michels, who sent a shot on the Cristo Rey goal. Cristeros goalie Carlos Vences made the initial save, but Hinckley-Big Rock’s Eric Phillips secured the rebound and sent the ball into the open goal.

“If you are not a physical team, you won’t like our style of play,” Michels said. “If you have people running around following shots up like we do, it creates open chances and that is what happened.”

The Royals maintained the lead 1-0 lead at halftime.

Conley made it 2-0 when he accepted a pass from teammate Billy Weissinger and then Conley managed to beat Vences in the 48th minute.

Conley set up the third goal when he sent a restart into the Cristeros’ penalty area and Jared Madden was there to finish. Weissinger added the final goal in the 75th minute.

Cristo Rey coach Manuel Chavez gave credit to the Royals.

“It was their aggressive style that made the difference,” said Chavez, whose team finished 17-2-2. “We’re used to touching the ball and playing, but not with as much speed as they possessed. I give them credit. They had a plan, stuck to it and took advantage of our mistakes.”

This was the first time a team in any sport in Cristo Rey’s history had advanced past the sectional round. Royals sophomore goalie Jason Bohannon earned his fifth straight shutout this postseason.

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