Eagles bring home West Suburban Gold crown
Updated: October 17, 2011 7:24PM
It’s been a while since Leyden’s boys soccer team had won the West Suburban Gold championship outright. In fact, the last time the Eagles had a conference title to itself was 1993.
That’s no longer the case.
The Eagles (14-3-3, 6-0) guaranteed themselves the outright WSC Gold title by defeating Addison Trail 3-0 on Oct. 11.
Leyden wasted no time grabbing an early lead when Krystian Drozdz knocked a header into the goal off a pass from teammate Juan Salgado just two minutes into the game for a 1-0 lead that held up through the entire first half.
The Eagles extended their lead to 2-0 when Drozdz scored again two minutes into the period, this time on an assist from Oscar Chavarria. Christian Hernandez tallied the final goal for Leyden with the assist going to Fernando Camacho.
“That quick strike to start the second half broke the will of Addison Trail, and from that point on, we controlled the rest of the game,” Leyden coach Mark Valintis said. “To go 6-0 in our conference is really quite an accomplishment that we are all very proud of here.”
The Eagles were unable to finish the regular season on a winning note Oct. 12, as they lost a nonconference game to St. Charles North, 2-1.
After a scoreless first half, St. Charles North took a 1-0 lead on a free-kick header three minutes into the second half. Leyden tied the score at 1-1 when Drozdz scored on a nice pass from Chavarria.
The Eagles had a chance to take the lead with about four minutes remaining in the game, but Juan Recendez was unable to convert a good scoring opportunity. St. Charles North came up with the game winner with 14 seconds left to play.
“It was a very tough way to lose to a very good team, but we had our chances and just didn’t convert, and that happens,” Valintis said. “Our seniors know that this is a type of game that the playoffs will bring, but our juniors and sophomores were new to this.”
Leyden is the No. 2 seed in the 17-team Evanston Sectional, behind only the host Wildkits.
The move to the Evanston Sectional takes Leyden away from the competition it faced a year ago in the Schaumburg Sectional.
“That was definitely a stronger field last year,” Valintis said. “There were a lot of good teams in that Sectional last year. I don’t think the (Evanston) Sectional is as strong from top to bottom. But there are some good teams among the top group here, and regardless of who we are playing, we have to play well because anyone is capable of beating anyone else.”
The Eagles, who are hosting one of four Regionals of the Evanston Sectional, were scheduled to open play Tuesday night against No. 15 St. Patrick. A win in that game would advance Leyden to a 3 p.m. Saturday Regional championship game against the winner of Tuesdays’ Loyola-Lane Tech matchup.