Mather rolls by Young
Updated: September 28, 2011 8:25PM
Qudus Lawal has adapted to his new surroundings very quickly. Mather soccer is the obvious beneficiary.
The native of Lagos, Nigeria arrived in Chicago just over a year ago. The senior midfielder notched his third hat trick of the year as the Rangers completed an unbeaten conference mark by smashing Young 5-1 Wednesday afternoon at McKinley Park.
Lawal’s friend and countryman, senior defender Enitan Junaid, aided the cause with a goal and an assist for the Rangers (9-3-1, 7-0 Premier). “The team came out fast and I just wanted to help with that,” Lawal said.
He opened the scoring barrage with a goal at the 10 minute mark by blasting a shot about 12 yards out into the left corner. At the 20 minute mark, junior defender Antonio Trejo drove the right sideline and lofted a perfect cross that Lawal headed in for the Rangers’ 2-0 lead at the break.
Lawal arrived last year but he was not ruled eligible until the state tournament. He powered the Rangers to a sectional final. Junaid arrived two years ago. “Last year we had a great team, we won a regional and a sectional game and we just want do just as well this year,” Junaid said. “I can’t do anything without my team, and you saw out there, we have a lot of good players.”
Mather dominated the game so thoroughly in the first half they held the Dolphins (2-10-3, 1-3-3) without a shot attempt. Young made its one push at the 5-minute mark of the second half on a goal by Cornell McCullom that halved the deficit to 2-1.
Just seconds later, Lawal and Junaid hooked up to give the Rangers some breathing space. Junaid placed a perfectly positioned cross. Lawal finished by scoring on his second header of the game. “The header, that’s something I’ve been practicing a long time,“ Lawal said. “I knew at that point, a 2-1 lead was not going to be good enough and we needed to get another goal to get the spread back out again.
“That’s what we were able to do.“
Mather turned the game into a rout as Junaid angled a free kick about 25 yards out into the net and sophomore midfielder Andres Torres scored moments later by nailing a straight on 12-yarder.
With the victory, the Rangers almost assured themselves of the top seed in the Public League tournament that starts next Wednesday with round robin play. The top 24 teams advance to the five-round tournament.