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Game story: 2nd half goal riot drives York past St. Charles North

By Mike Garofola, 09/15/23, 6:15PM CDT


Waski leads way in 4-2 win, Dukes gain tourney semis

STREAMWOOD – Eighth-ranked York overpowered no. 15 St. Charles North with a stunning comeback at Millenium Field to finish its pool play group run undefeated and advance into the semifinals as the top seed of the Streamwood Fall Classic on Friday and earn a rematch against top-ranked Oak Park and River Forest.

A spectacular finish from Jayden Waski in the 59th minute inspired two more unanswered goals that led to the 4-2 victory Wednesday.

"Jayden's goal to get us back at 2-2 was so big," said teammate Damian Goldz, who bagged the eventual game-winner with a stunning finish of his own 10 minutes after the Waski equalizer. “It was a great finish, and one that finally got us going after a really slow start to this game.”

"That last 20-25 minutes is the way we all know that we're capable of playing," said Dukes manager Jordan Stopka. “Our poor start and with the way St. Charles played up until Jayden's (second) goal made it look like we could be in for a long day here.”

The Dukes looked like they were doing St, Charles North (6-4-0) a favor when they surrendered a free kick from just outside the box. North Stars senior Brandon Cotteleer made them pay with a superb left-footed effort that curled around the wall to give the Stars a 2-1 advantage in the 52nd minute.

"Up until that point, I felt like we enjoyed a lot of the play," said St. Charles North coach Eric Willson. “Controlled the midfield, created chances and with some terrific play from our back three we had the chance to come out of here with a victory.

"(However) the last half of the second half is where we lost our way a little. They took full advantage with a couple of spectacular goals, which we were unable to recover from." 

"(It) was such a great first half of soccer for us," said defender Stefano Nava. “We created chances, won almost every 50/50 ball and really didn't allow them very much at all."

The senior with his backline mates Ashton Goethe and Casey Kriz were near perfect throughout the night with stingy play and energetic tackling. The trio relied on excellent positioning and organization to slow the high-powered Dukes (7-1-0).

"Their backline as a unit was just amazing," began Stopka. "They play with three in the back really so well, and they were so good at joining the attack. With playing with five in the middle, they gave us a lot of trouble in the first half.

"The last 4-5 games we've been really slow off the opening whistle, but have found a way to get ourselves back in the game as you saw today. North really put us under a lot of pressure in the first 20 minutes, and to be honest, most of the first half."

St. Charles North had long periods of dominance during the first half hour, thanks in part to its high work-rate, energy and impressive industry in the middle of the park.

Walker DeLaPaz, who leads the Stars with nine goals, worked nicely to create a free kick in the eighth minute. The best looking early piece of attacking soccer came from Trevor Mirra, Cole Weddle and DeLaPaz connecting in combination play.

York showed some life at the tail-end of a lovely bit of build-up play at 16 minutes between Glodz, Michael Greco, Gustavo Herrera and Ethan Welz, who eventually found Waski. He missed wide of an opening at the back post from 14 yards.

"We had so much trouble with their five in the midfield," said Glodz. “And with us in a 4-3-3, we were unable to get anything going through the run of play.”

Despite the fact that St. Charles North easily had 85 percent of the possession before intermission, York scored first.

Just after the half hour, Aaron Jobi sent Waski through. After one quick step after collecting the helper, Waski burst free up the right side before firing his angled shot off the back post and over the line.

Jobi collected his sixth assist of the season on the play.

"We were a little unlucky on their first goal," said Willson. “It was a great effort. We just didn't get the ball to bounce off the post in our favor.”

Down 1-0 at the break, the North Stars responded strongly and drew back level when Mirra met a wonderful ball from Cotteleer for a fierce header finish in the 44th minute.

Gustavo Herrera rattled the underside of the bar two minutes later. The wicked blast spilled in front of North Stars keeper Alex Curtis, who thanked his teammates for clearing the area of danger in the resulting scramble for the loose ball.

With a little over 30 minutes until time, the intensity, urgency, energy and chances increased.

Waski was set free on a lovely ball from Herrera, but Curtis sensed the danger. The North Stars keeper made the proper decision to come off his line to challenge Waski and forced him to shoot wide of the open net.

On the other side of the park, the St. Charles North trio of Mirra, DeLaPaz and Oliver Longosz executed a near perfect counter that resulted in a free kick. Cotteleer stepped up to the ball and rifled home a superb left-footed effort.

"It was a little bit of back-and-forth soccer up until we went ahead, and I really felt like we could hold our lead," offered Nava. “But after they made it 2-2, the game turned around really quickly.”

Waski's stunning solo effort that tied the game is a worthy goal of the year candidate. His 25-yard guided missile nestled into the upper-right corner in the 59th minute and seemed to cede the match to the Dukes.

"The game changed after Jayden's goal," said Stopak. “Our midfield became more involved, was winning balls, distributing really well and tracking back to slow or stop their attack. They quickly turned the ball around the other way for us.”

Dukes keeper Diego Ochoa still needed to do some work. He went airborne to deny an inward-swinging corner from DeLaPaz, after Nava created the opportunity for his side.

Glodz's game-winner was his team-leading eighth goal of the season and a beauty. It came in the 69th after he beat a pair of challengers up the left side and finished into the far, inside corner.

Waski, who shared the Chicagoland Soccer Man of the Match honor St. Charles North's Nava, was credited with the assist.

Herrera doubled the Dukes advantage one minute later. 

Thereafter, Stopka moved Michael Greco alongside Nico Feldmann to play two defensive midfifelders in front of his backline to help insure victory.

"We've seen a lot of formations this year: 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 3-3-3-1, but (their) 3-5-2 was the best, and one that gave us a lot of trouble. It will probably create that for a lot of other teams this year," said Stopka.

"As poorly as we started, I was pleased with the way we stayed in the game, then found a way to get the ball to the players who can create and be dangerous."

"(They) gave us a real tough game for a long time today," added Glodz. “But when we finally grabbed hold of the run of play and attacked like we know we can. We became more dynamic. We just have to do that right from the start, instead of 20-25 minutes into the game.

Despite the loss, St. Charles North's coach remained upbeat afterward. He praised the Dukes for their second half, but saved some accolades for his men as well.

"York put us under a lot of pressure after they got back even, and although we gave up (four) today, it was in no way because of our backline,” said Willson. “They were magnificent today and couldn’t have really done a thing about the goals York scored.

"I am proud of the fight we showed. There was a lot of heart in the overall play, and we did a lot of good things out there today on both sides of the ball.

"This game, like all others, was a good learning experience for us going forward. With each game we continue to see improvement from our guys, and that's what we need to have."

Starting lineups

St. Charles North (3-5-2)
G- Alex Curtis
D- Ashton Goettel
D- Casey Kriz
D- Stefano Nava
M- Cole Weddle
M- Brandon Cotteleer
M- Walter DeLaPaz
M- Trevor Mirra
M- Cameron Bettini
F- Dino Valenti
F- Oliver Longosz

York (4-3-3)
G- Diego Ochoa
D- Freddie Steen
D- Alex Papa
D- Mateusz Janowski
D- Ethan Welz
M- Gustavo Herrera
M- Michael Greco
M- Jayden Waski
F- Aaron Jobi
F- Alan Rivas
F- Damian Glodz

Chicagoland Soccer Men of the Match: 
Stefano Nava, sr., D, St. Charles North; Jayden Waski, sr., F, York

Scoring summary

First Half
York: Waski, (Jobi) 33'

Second half
St. Charles North: Mirra (Cotteleer), 44'
St. Charles North: Cotteleer (free kick), 52'
York: Waski (unassisted), 59'
York: Glodz (Waski), 69'
York: Herrera (Waski), 70'