Marmion edges Kaneland to grab regional title
Updated: October 22, 2011 10:14PM
As time ticked away, the intensity of Saturday’s DeKalb Class 2A regional championship increased proportionally with Kaneland fans hoping for an equalizer, while Marmion’s faithful wanted the clock to reach all zeroes to match the Knights’ score.
Marmion’s supporters got their wish as the Cadets hung on for a hard-fought 1-0 victory, advancing them to the Tuesday’s semifinal of the Freeport Sectional against Rock Island Regional champ United Township of East Moline. Marmion moves on with a 16-6-3 record, while Kaneland’s campaign closed at 12-7-1.
While Kaneland had numerous early shots on goal stopped by Cadet goalie Brad White, Marmion’s first major threat had Flynn Collins notch his fourth assist of the year setting up Mick Maley for a left-side blast that sailed inside the right post with 11:31 left in the first half.
“I looked up and saw him (Maley) and played the ball through because he’s a great finisher,” Collins said. “(He’s) really a one of a kind player and it was just a beauty of a goal. One of the prettiest goals I’ve ever seen in my life.”
“I got around the guy in front of me and took a touch with my right foot and just let it rip,” Maley said of his 18th goal of the season. “I saw the goalie was kind of shading near post so I hit it back post and as soon as I hit it I knew it was in.
“Anything I can do to help our team win is satisfying, but the goal was just such a small individual part of our (overall) team goal,” Maley said in regard to the Cadets’ desire to make coach Kevin O’Connor’s final season as special as possible.
There was 26:16 left in regulation when momentum swung to Kaneland in a big way, as Marmion was awarded a penalty kick and Knights’ keeper Marshall Farthing dove to his right for a stunning save.
“That was huge, it kept us in,” Kaneland coach Scott Parillo said. “Obviously they score that goal, we’re probably done. We tried pushing some people up and thought we’d get one. We played well, they were more aggressive and possessed the ball better than us and we don’t run into that a lot. We had our chances early, if we make one of those in first couple minutes, it’s a whole different ballgame.”
Marmion’s O’Connor also felt his club left some potential goals even beyond the penalty kick on the field. However, he said the Cadets’ triumph could only be described as a team win.
“We got huge contributions from everybody, there wasn’t a player on our team that didn’t play guts out every minute they were on the field,” O’Connor said. “This was a tremendous team effort on our part, our possession was good as a team and that was a key.”