Boys soccer: Lemont, Lincoln-Way East ready to be underdogs
Always a bridesmaid and never the bride — that has to be the feeling of the Lemont boys soccer team after falling short in five of the last six Class 2A supersectional rounds.
Now the Porters (20-3-3) stare down another chance to reverse their fortunes and notch a trip downstate, facing Peoria Notre Dame at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Peoria.
In Class 3A, Lincoln-Way East hopes to continue its surprising postseason run at the Benedictine University super against Morton.
“We’ve won three sectionals in a row, but can’t quite get over the hump to make it to the big dance,” Lemont coach Rick Prangen said. “Hopefully the third time’s a charm.”
Lemont advanced after beating conference rival Bremen 1-0 on Saturday afternoon. Now the Indians will meet another familiar foe. Notre Dame (19-5-1) is the reigning 2A state champion and has ousted Lemont the past two years in supersectional play.
Notre Dame has crushed every playoff opponent thus far, outscoring the competition 24-2 in its four matches. To make matters more difficult for Lemont, the Irish will host supersectional play.
“It will be tough playing them in their house,” Prangen said. “Player-for-player, Notre Dame might have the advantage over us, but we can win if we play as a unit and use our experience.”
Lemont will need goalkeeper Andrew Putna to continue his superb run through the playoffs. Putna, who has yet to allow a postseason goal, will be asked to slow down the aggressive Notre Dame attack.
Lincoln-Way East looks to continue its surprising run through the 3A playoffs after bouncing Stagg for the Andrew Sectional title on Saturday. The Griffins (10-10-5) were four games under .500 before entering postseason play. They now find themselves with the first sectional title in school history
Lincoln-Way East will play Morton (21-3-1) in a rematch of the Sept. 3 title game for the Hinsdale Red Devil Cup. Morton took the match 1-0.
The Griffins’ defense — led by athletic goalkeeper Rick Torres — has yet to allow a goal in the postseason. Sustaining that streak might be tough against Morton.
“We’ve kept zeroes on the board with good team defense,” East coach Ryan Decker said. “But Morton is capable of an explosive attack. We need to take care of the ball and really capitalize on our set plays.”