St Charles North advances to sectional finalSt. Charles North's Tyler Davis (8) pushes up past Bartlett's Christian Castro (17) during the first half at Streamwood High School in Streamwood, Ill., on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.
| Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media |
Updated: October 26, 2011 9:50PM
St. Charles North experienced a disappointing Upstate Eight River soccer season, but thanks to a potent offense led by Tyler Davis the postseason looks completely different.
The North Stars used two goals Wednesday by Davis and one by Alex Behm to extend their postseason to Saturday’s championship match of the Bartlett Class 3A Sectional with a dominant 3-1 semifinal victory over Bartlett. North will play Schaumburg in Saturday’s 11 a.m. finale at Millennium Field in Streamwood.
“We always try to take shots, test the goalie and see how good the goalie is doing,” Davis said. “If you can’t take shots, you can’t score, so we always shoot.”
The Stars came out firing from long distance at Bartlett goalie Cristian Alva and three times beat him with longer distance shots so well placed out of his range that it almost seemed they’d been taken from a few feet in front of the goal.
“Those were three awesome strikes that we had against us today,” Bartlett coach Ben Beary said after his team’s season ended with an 11-11-2 mark.
The Stars so dominated play with their size and ball control that Bartlett had only three shots on goal through the first 60 minutes.
“The first half was one of the most complete halves we played all season,” St. Charles North coach Eric Willson said. “To get that in a game like this, I mean, it’s absolutely fantastic.”
Just 7:06 into the match Davis drilled in a low liner unassisted from 25 yards out, after beating a couple defenders with brilliant individual moves. Then Behm struck 14 minutes later from even longer range with a liner that Alva couldn’t reach just under the crossbar. Finally, Davis scored 11:03 into the second half off the right side from 15 yards out after receiving a pass from Kyle Swanson. The second goal by Davis was his sixth in three postseason games.
The 3-0 lead held up until 6:11 remained in the match, when Bartlett amped up the pressure and Anthony DiNuzzo connected from in close.
The Stars (15-6-2) outshot Bartlett 14-6 for the match in avenging last year’s season-ending regional loss to the Hawks.
“That was some of our motivation,” Davis said. “They knocked us out last year. So we were coming to end their season this year.”
Bartlett had lost 5-2 to St. Charles North in an Oct. 1 UEC crossover matchup.
“With their size in addition to the way they possess the ball, we worked on it since the last time we played them and I thought we had a pretty good plan going into this game,” Beary said. “And they were twice as good as the last time we played them.”
The winner of Saturday’s championship advances to Tuesday’s 7 p.m. Barrington Supersectional to play the Barrington Sectional champ. A sectional title would be North’s second in four seasons.