Boys Soccer: Qudus Lawal leads Mather past St Francis
Updated: November 1, 2011 8:20PM
It is a difficult enough task trying to account for the explosive scoring ability of Mather star forward Qudus Lawal.
When he gets the rest of his teammates involved, all bets are off.
Lawal scored two goals and assisted two others as Mather continued its wrecking crew streak in the state tournament by jumping out to a commanding first-half advantage in downing St. Francis 7-1 in a Class 2A Supersectional at DeKalb High School Tuesday night.
The Rangers (19-3-1) qualified for the state finals for the first time since the 2000 team reached the Elite Eight. Mather advances to Friday’s first semifinal against the winner of the Supersectional involving Lemont and defending Class 2A state champion Peoria Notre Dame.
“Our attitude the whole year has been we want to be the aggressors, and make sure the other team is behind us,” he said. “In our system we always want to be aggressive and attacking. When I drop down, I have the ability to create for myself and also for others.”
Lawal hammered in an unassisted score in the 8th minute that ignited the rout. Junior forward Kevin Ramirez scored on a free kick two minutes later. Lawal took control by assisting goals by Chizom Ogbonna and Eseh Godman that powered Mather to the dominating 4-0 lead at the break.
“I’m happy creating for myself or for my teammates,” Lawal said.
The loss ended the Cinderella state tournament run of the Spartans (13-11-4), who entered the field with a losing record. The Spartans, a ninth-seed in the sectional, stunned heavily-favored St. Joseph at the Riverside-Brookfield Sectional Saturday.
St. Francis had several first-half scoring opportunities, the most glaring when senor Mitch McShane crossed to a wide-open Michael Downs, staring an exposed net. The ball skipped past him and Mather avoided any serious offensive thrusts by the Spartans. “We have a senior-heavy team, and I thought we played too conservatively at the start,” Kristin Keigley said.
Mather refused to turn off the switch in the second half. Godman made a beautiful unassisted score and Lawal followed with his second goal, scoring off a terrific through ball from Steven Younus, for the 6-0 lead.
“Teams have to pay so much attention to [Lawal], and it just creates chances for everybody around him,” Godman said.
Junior defender Sizar Jaba punched in the final score on a pass from junior Mahdi Mahdi.
St. Francis averted the shutout on junior Brett Jungles’ header in the final minute.
The steady march goes forward for the Rangers. “Whoever we play Friday is obviously going to be good, but this is what we’ve played for the whole year, to get to the state finals,” Lawal said. “We’re going there to win.”