Boys soccer: Morton plays spoiler for Lincoln-Way East
Updated: November 1, 2011 10:05PM
If the Morton soccer team was to play a role in the storybook playoff run of Lincoln-Way East, they hoped to play the spoiler.
The Mustangs did just that, dismissing Lincoln-Way East 1-0 on a golden goal in the fourth and final overtime period at the 3A Lisle Supersectional on Tuesday night.
In a taut defensive battle with limited scoring opportunities from either team, Morton’s Joel Leon headed in the game winning goal from 12 yards out off a free kick from Jesus Morales. The goal, with 8:54 remaining, saved the teams from going to penalty kicks.
“That was the best defense we played against all year,” Morton coach Mike Caruso said. “We beat Lincoln-Way earlier in the year, but you could tell they really found their identity as a team defense. They were a tough nut to crack.”
The victory at the 3A Lisle Supersectional earns Morton (22-3-1) their first trip to down state since their fourth place finish in 2006.
Lincoln-Way East (10-11-5) entered the postseason four games under .500. But the Griffins found a playoff chemistry upsetting and bonded over fundamental team defense as they won four straight until be derailed tonight.
“Morton is a really good technical team, and they found us at the end.” East’s coach Ryan Decker said. “I’m just so proud of my guys. Nobody really gave us much of a chance and we became the first sectional champion in Lincoln-Way East history.”
Leon also gave Morton the best chance for a goal earlier in the match. The junior headed in a would be goal off a corner kick, but the Griffin’s goal keeper Rick Torres showed his athleticism with a leaping save. The overtime goal was the first goal surrendered by Torres in over 300 consecutive playoff minutes.