Lisle, Chicago Christian to be continued
Updated: October 18, 2011 7:41PM
Chicago Christian senior Brett Robertson has scored 34 goals this season, none more memorable – or controversial – than the one he scored Tuesday at the Class 1A Lisle Sectional semifinals.
Robertson’s goal as time expired in regulation lifted the Knights into an improbable 2-2 tie with defending state champion Lisle at Wilde Field. After neither side scored in the first two overtime periods, the game was suspended because of darkness. It will resume at 3 p.m. Wednesday with the start of the third overtime, with the second semifinal between Cristo Rey and Peotone slated to start at 4 p.m.
The host Lions (16-5) appeared to have the game won after scoring twice within a 1:41 span late in the second half.
But Chicago Christian (18-5-1) cut the gap to 2-1 when Josh Potter scored on a 30-yard free kick with 1:03 remaining. The Lions were running out the clock deep in the Knights’ end when an illegal throw-in gave the ball to Chicago Christian with less than 15 seconds left.
The Knights’ Sean O’Meara boomed a pass 50 yards up the field to Robertson, who was one-on-one with a defender. The ball bounced over both players, but Robertson got to the ball a split second before Lisle goalie Kazim Khan did and tapped a shot toward the goal in the fading light.
“I just saw Sean ready to kick it and I was like, ‘I’m going,’ so I just turned on the speed,” Robertson said. “I didn’t care if I’m [going to be] getting clobbered by the goalie. There was only one second left and I just sneaked it in and got the clutch goal. I saw it go past the line.”
Khan, who had five saves, and his teammates were sure that the clock had run out before the ball crossed the line. The linesman closest to the play ruled it a goal and his call was upheld after a conference between all three officials.
“[The referee] said it was over the line before the horn sounded and the horn sounded before it hit the net, so that’s how close it was,” Timothy Christian coach Bryan Miller said. “A game of inches.”
Lisle grabbed a 1-0 lead when Potter accidentally kicked the ball into his own net with 8:42 left in the second half. Cole Collins then knocked in a corner kick from Pat Webb to make it 2-0 at the 7:01 mark and things looked bleak for the Knights before Potter redeemed himself by firing his free kick over Khan’s head and just under the crossbar for his eighth goal of the year.
“When we were down 2-0 I didn’t have much hope, but when Josh put that in the back of the net we got fired up, like ‘we can do this,’” Robertson said. “That’s when I got that next goal.”
The Knights, who are making their first sectional appearance, nearly won the game with 1:00 left in the first overtime, but Khan made a leaping save on a 28-yard free kick by Potter.
That Chicago Christian is still alive is a surprise considering Lisle rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to beat the Knights 5-3 on the same field on Oct. 6.
“We just kind of turned off the gas after they got it to 4-2 and just gave up, so to see that not happen today is a testament to how quickly these guys learn and how much that they’re looking to put their bodies on the line,” Miller said. “We’re going to come back tomorrow and do work because that’s who we are.
“Lisle is a fantastic team, defending state champions. They know how to win these close games so for us to force tomorrow, I told our guys we’ve earned tomorrow.”