Naperville Central gets by Waubonsie
Updated: September 3, 2011 3:17PM
There’s a reason Naperville Central’s boys soccer team hosts and plays in the Best of the West tournament early in each season.
Even if the Redhawks don’t reach the finals of the tournament, they hope to gain valuable experience to prepare for the rugged DuPage Valley Conference and the postseason.
That’s the position Central found itself in Saturday. Despite beating Waubonsie Valley 2-1 in penalty kicks, the Redhawks were unable to reach the finals of their own tournament. But they enter DVC play at 4-1 after playing Waubonsie, Fremd and Sandburg this week.
“Can we build on what we learned in this tournament?,” Central coach Troy Adams asked. “That’s why you play three quality teams. You play them so that when it comes time for conference games and the state tournament, you’ve sorted things out and figured things out. You know what you have to do to win.”
Central appeared to control the pace of play in the first half, but it was Waubonsie (1-3) who got on the board first. After being outscored 7-0 in the first two games of the tournament, junior Timmy Miller scored on a restart with 4:06 left in the first half off a pass from junior Sam Bell to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.
“We got the free kick and I was thinking that Sam and I always have a lot of eye contact and he always plays those balls front post,” Miller said. “I was thinking that I was going to cut in and Sam put it right where it needed to go. It was a good feeling.”
Both teams were aggressive in the second half creating scoring chances, but it was Central who was able to tie things up at the 25:19 mark. Off a cross from junior Conner Allen, junior Pat Flynn blasted a shot from 18 yards out and connected for the tying goal.
“It was great to tie it up,” Flynn said. “We were working hard all game, and all season. Conner Allen played a great ball across and I was at the 18 and I just thought a one-time hit would be a good decision, and it wound up in the back of the net.”
Waubonsie had the best chance to win the game in regulation. With 7:31 left, senior Tyler Yanisch had an open shot that was deflected out of play and the subsequent corner kick was cleared, sending the game to penalty kicks.
Junior Jack Patrick, sophomore Jay Tegge, senior Adam Hamielec and Flynn each put in their chances for the Redhawks against sophomore Waubonsie goalie Jordan Ward. But two Waubonsie shooters fired over the net, giving the win to Central.
“This was good,” Flynn said of the tournament. “It just prepares us for conference and state. Playing good competition is key, especially at the beginning of the year. We know what we have to improve on and work on.”