Naperville North’s quick start downs Metea
Updated: October 22, 2011 9:08PM
Naperville North wasted little time in establishing who the top dog was Saturday.
The Huskies (20-0-1) scored twice in a seven-minute span early in the first half and cruised to a 3-1 victory over host Metea Valley in a Class 3A regional championship match in Aurora. They will host East Aurora on Tuesday in the first of two sectional semifinals, with Naperville Central playing Batavia in the nightcap.
“I think our motto for the playoff run is just hit them hard in the mount in the first 10 minutes, send them a message that we’re not overrated and we should be No. 1,” Naperville North senior forward Kyle Lindberg said. “If we start off going into tackles hard like we did today, get those two early goals, it gives us motivation and momentum. It also kind of breaks them down, too.”
Lindberg continued his playoff tear by scoring two goals, giving him five in two playoff matches and a team-high 18 for the season, while fellow striker Evan Trychta added a goal and an assist.
The two hooked up on the first goal, which came at the 32:55 mark of the first half. Trychta was fouled on the right wing and sent the ensuing 30-yard free kick bending in front of the Metea goal, where Lindberg volleyed it home from seven yards out.
“That was such a good ball,” Lindberg said. “Restarts are a big part of our practice. We work hard on them in practice and we like it when we get those [foul] calls.”
Trychta takes nearly all of Naperville North’s set pieces. The UIC recruit is especially tough to defend in those situations because of his ability to put the ball on frame from 45 yards in or find one of his teammates. Goalies have to respect his ability to shoot and that sometimes leads to opportunities for others if Trychta decides to pass.
“I target a specific region,” Trychta said. “It’s like, get it within [a few feet] of this zone and I’ll be good. I just try to make it possible for someone to get on the end of it.”
Trychta was on the receiving end of a long pass over the top of the defense from midfielder Samy Darwan seven minutes later and he alertly chipped a shot over onrushing Metea Valley goalie Derek Carothers from 25 yards out to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead. It was his 15th goal of the year.
“The biggest thing is you can’t give a team like that goals and we gave them two and it made us tough for us to come back,” Metea Valley coach Josh Robinson said. “A ton of respect to Naperville North and everything they’ve done, but our boys, they didn’t quit. They worked as hard as they possibly could and I’m just super proud of what the seniors have done.”
After Lindberg scored on a short breakaway thanks to a feed from Joe Sullivan to make it 3-0 with 7:15 left in the second half, the Mustangs (9-7-5) averted the shutout when senior Cody Jones volleyed in a free kick from Zack Bavol with 5:40 left.
Metea, which was seeking its first regional title, says goodbye to its first graduating class, which includes Carothers (four saves), Jones, Bavol, leading scorer Ryan Solomon and two key players, Loras recruit Joel Schmidt and defender Danny Shea, who missed nearly all of the season with injuries.
“I’m shocked right now, but we played so good during the season and to come out and lose to a very good team like this is kind of disappointing,” Carothers said. “We built a very good foundation here at Metea. We had lumps during the season and kids filled in the spots.”