St. Charles N. shows grit
in 1-0 victory over Young
Estrada pounces on rebound for winning goal
By Alison Moran
LA GRANGE -- Delays of game times and field conditions universally described as "choppy" hampered the middle field and the final two games of the PepsiCo Showdown at Lyons Soccer Complex.
Those conditions seemed to favor the aerial game of teams such as No. 6 seed St. Charles North (5-2-1). The North Stars defeated the unseeded Whitney Young Dolphins, 1-0.
The North Stars came into the game down a defender after they lost senior captain Colin Kraft for the season. His tibia was fractured after being kicked in the shin in a match against Geneva earlier in the week.
The first 30 minutes of the first half, though, belonged to Whitney Young (2-4-0), which controlled the momentum with an attacking ground game. Young had six free kicks, led by forwards Eric Thompson and Ricardo Tovar, with midfielders Patryk Kopytko and Alex West. All were stopped by St. Charles North goalkeeper Zack Norton.
"It kinda stinks we couldn't get one in the end. ... I really felt we dominated the game," said a disappointed Christian Cattan, a forward for Whitney Young.
Whitney Young seemed to lose some momentum after speedy forward Reed Schaefer went down in the first half with what appeared to be an ankle injury. Limping off the field, he did not return to the game.
The lone score of the game came courtesy of St. Charles North forward Lorenzo Estrada with 8:01 left in the first half. Estrada, Chicagoland Soccer's Man of the Match, capitalized on a pass engineered by forward Jonathon Acevedo and midfielder Ryan Olson. Estrada crashed it past Whitney Young goalkeeper Jesus Velasco.
St. Charles North coach Eric Willson described what motivated this particular call. "I knew they'd be a really hardworking team," he said. "I felt there was some space in the corners of the field for us, with the way this surface has played for us."
Willson also praised Estrada's skills. "Lorenzo' s been spot-on for us as a forward all season, and he jumped on top of a rebound," he said. "That's why you've gotta crash the goal after guys are shooting. "
Next up for St. Charles North is No. 11 seed West Chicago on Tuesday. West Chicago defeated its opening-round opponent, Lockport, 3-1.
Coach Willson made his wish list for the game, saying, "Hopefully we'll be playing on a better surface and playing a little bit more of our type of game."
St. Charles North
Ryan Olson- M
Nick Graham- D
Carter Held- D
Jesus Velasco- GK
Dorien St. Ours-D
Erick Gonzalez- F
Man of the Match: Lorenzo Estrada, St. Charles North