Boys Soccer: Sandburg takes third with 1-0 win over Stevenson

Updated: November 3, 2012 10:33PM

Zack Biel made the final one count. By his own account, it was one of the easiest ones he ever had.

The star Sandburg senior scored his 25th goal of the year in the 58th minute, smashing back a ball that deflected hard off the near post on a shot by Kevin Kroll, as the No. 7 Eagles rode to the 1-0 victory over No. 5 Stevenson to capture third place in the Class 3A state tournament at Lincoln-Way North Saturday night in Frankfort.

“We came out with a lot of intensity the whole night,” Biel said. “We didn’t want to take fourth. On the goal, Kevin took a great shot off the post and it just was right at my feet. I just tapped it into the net,” he said.

The Eagels (19-5-3) made a sharp reversal from last year, where as a No. 1 seed in the sectional, they were stunned by Providence in a first round regional. “It’s good that didn’t happen to us as seniors,” Kroll said. “That would have been a horrible way to go out.”

Senior midfielder Justin Siriann controlled the ball after Stevenson cleared a corner. He made a perfect pass that Kroll caught in perfect stride.

“It was a great pass,” Kroll said. “I was thinking about crossing it at first. I was in the box, I had a good angle. I just took a shot and it hit the inside post.”

In his second year directing the boys’ program, coach Desi Vuillaume was thrilled by his team’s aggressive play. Sandburg dominated possession time and put relentless pressure on Stevenson’s star keeper Quentin Lowe.

Sandburg finally wore the Patriots (18-6-1) down. “The kids had a definite chip on their shoulders coming into the state tournament, and you saw that throughout,” Vuillaume said.

Stevenson was making its first state appearance ever. Despite suffering two shutout losses, coach Mark Schartner was elated by the maturity and progress of his program. “It’s all good,” he said. “You look around and we have a lot of young players coming back and they’re hungry after what they experienced this year.”

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