Parker claims third at 1A state
Updated: October 29, 2011 8:49PM
It was night and day for Parker at the IHSA Class 1A boys soccer state finals this weekend.
A slow start doomed the Colonels (17-9-1) in Friday’s semifinal loss, but in Saturday’s third-place game, Parker started quick and never looked back in a 2-1 win over Warrensburg-Latham (21-5-2) at the Corn Crib in Normal.
“We took control right out of the gate,” Parker coach Neil Curran said. “We went back to what it is that got us to this point, which is center midfield controlling the ball and moving the ball out wide and then finding our target players up front.”
The Colonels’ third-place finish is the best finish in school history, and Curran felt the weekend tournament will continue to impact Parker’s soccer program far into the future.
“This is the next step we?ve been waiting for as a program,” Curran said. “The most important piece for [the players] is it’s a legacy. It’s a way to leave their mark on the school.”
Parker senior forward Johnny McConnell scored a first half goal and assisted another to help the Colonels jump in front 2-0 prior to halftime.
Just three and a half minutes into the game, McConnell connected with Griffin Amdur and the sophomore midfielder found the back of the net to put Parker ahead early.
Then, McConnell did it all by himself with an unassisted goal with under three minutes left in the first half to give Parker a 2-0 advantage heading into halftime.
According to McConnell, Parker?s seniors left a fitting mark on the school’s soccer program with Saturday’s win.
“We won because we came out quick and played our game,” McConnell said. “I’m just honored to play for Francis Parker right now. I thought I’d be really sad at the end of the season, but right now I’m just happy.”
A goal from Warrensburg senior Austin Cearlock with 8:35 left in the game cut the deficit to 2-1, but the Cardinals could not find the back of the net again.
Parker goalkeeper Max Bermont and Warrensburg goalkeeper Keith Owens each had six saves on the game.