Lyons fights off stubborn Larkin
Updated: September 10, 2011 11:01PM
A nailbiter can often bring out the best in a team, as Lyons found out on Saturday in the Pepsi Showdown quarterfinals.
The short-handed Lions were forced to gut out a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Larkin in LaGrange.
Lyons (4-1-2) scored a goal less than 10 minutes into the match and then held off a comeback attempt by the Royals (5-3-1).
Keeper Max Hadley came up with five saves to post his fourth shutout, stopping several dangerous free kicks in the late going.
The Lions blanked their third straight tournament opponent to earn a spot in the semifinals.
They’ll meet up with Metea Valley, which advanced after capturing a 2-0 victory over Deerfield in another quarterfinal match.
“We needed a match like this where we pulled out a solid win against a tough team since it’s just going to get harder from here,” Hadley said. “It’s also nice to know that we can get a lead early and then hold it throughout the whole game.”
Lyons took the lead for good in the ninth minute when Matt Thomas threw in a ball that led to a score by Brett Heimerdinger.
The hosts added a goal in the 71st minute when Frankie Kocimski got free and sent a pass to Jon Jakob Lauser, who connected.
“Larkin came to play for 80 straight minutes so our win was a testament to every kid that was on the field,” Lions coach Paul Labbato said. “We went through our whole bench but all of our kids responded really well and did a nice job.”