Warren flashes top form against quality foeFox Lake 10/21/11
Round Lake High School varsity soccer player, Mariano Narvaez (3), heads the ball during the IHSA regional tournament against Warren High School, at Grant High School, on Friday, October 21, 2011. | Ruthie Hauge ~ Sun-Times Media
Warren won a regional soccer title for the first time since its second-place finish at state in 2006 and snapped a frustrating two-year streak of losing in regional finals by thumping Round Lake 3-0 on Friday in the Class 3A Grant Regional championship game.
The Devils (19-3-3) will play Wednesday in the Barrington Sectional against either Cary-Grove or Lake Zurich (who meet Saturday).
Daniel Szczepanek, Tony Severini and Ryan Friend scored goals to back the shutout keeping (three saves) of Brady Walsh (11th shutout of the season).
“It was our third year in a row playing in a regional final, and it’s great to finally win one,” said Warren coach Jason Ahonen. “This goes out to our seniors and the guys who didn’t win a regional with us the last two years ... the guys who are playing college soccer and the guys who came back tonight to support us.”
Szczepanek scored unassisted in the 17th minute as he took the ball away at the top of the box and walked in alone on Round Lake’s keeper.
Severini’s goal in the 69th minute from Sean Kirwan sealed the win and Friend’s tally a minute later was a nice add-on.
“It doesn’t matter how good you are ... you play one bad game and you’re done,” Ahonen said. “We took care of business tonight. I’m proud of these kids.
“We’re go into Wednesday with the same mentality and focus.”
Warren went 1-0-1 this year against Lake Zurich and didn’t play Cary-Grove.
Round Lake finished 17-3-3 with quality wins over Waukegan and Libertyville.
“These kids have played with a lot of heart and emotion all year,” said Panther coach Hugo Tellez. “I’m proud of them. We ran into a very good team tonight.”
The Panthers played half the game without leading scorer Jordi Rubio, who picked up two quick yellow cards in the first half and was sidelined.