Lincoln-Way Central takes tourney title
Updated: September 17, 2011 3:42PM
When Eisenhower and Lincoln-Way Central squared off in the Lincoln-Way Invitational championship Saturday at Central it was like introducing in-laws.
“I really don’t know anything about them,” Eisenhower coach Dylan Shaughnessy said. “I’ve barely figured out my team at this point, but we’re just going to learn about them on the field.”
First-year Central coach Sean Fahey echoed Shaughnessy’s views.
“I’ve never played Eisenhower on any level, so I don’t really know anything about them except from what I’ve heard,” Fahey said. “It’s going to be a battle. That’s how a championship should be.”
It was a slow learning process, but Central proved to be the quicker learner, as the Knights went on to win the game 2-1, going 3-0-1 in the invite and capturing the championship.
“We haven’t been winning the prettiest, but we’ll take it,” Fahey said. “We can’t get comfortable or satisfied because our bigger tests are ahead of us.”
Eisenhower outshot Central 7-2 in the first half, but Central (8-1-1) had the best look at the net when Fred Bartuch found himself 1-on-1 with Cardinals goalie Max Boyso. After shaking a few Cardinal defenders in the box, Bartuch turned and shot, but Boyso was there to make the stop and stuffed the rebound try as well to keep the game scoreless at the break.
Central opened up the scoring just under six minutes into the second half. Conor Bartuch sent a free kick 40 yards out on goal and, after some bouncing around, Alivin Landaverde turned and fired it home to make it 1-0. With just under 17 minutes remaining Erik Gamino tied things up on a penalty kick after the Knights were called for a foul in the box.
With the game seemingly destined for overtime, Conor Bartuch took the ball 40 yards out, dribbled around an Eisenhower (8-3-1) defender and fired into the back of the net from 30 yards out with 3:09 left in the game.
“I got a header, chested it around a guy and hit a volley,” Conor said. “This is the best team I’ve had my four years here.”
Eisenhower wasn’t the only thing Conor knocked out, as a head-to-head collision with his younger brother Fred early in the second half had Fred’s head attached to ice the rest of the game.
“He’s going to be okay,” Conor said with a laugh. “He said he’s used to me hitting him, but I don’t think I’m that mean.”