AURORA – Senior Night was a fun night for Jake McVey.
The Aurora Central senior forward worked hard in a 1-0 victory over Marengo on the evening of Oct. 4. McVey was happy about the shutout victory. He had several chances to net a goal against Marengo but came up empty.
His final home game on the plush grass was an ideal way to spotlight his four-year varsity career, especially harking back to the misfortune suffered while playing his first game.
As a freshman, McVey said he suffered a season-ending knee injury the first game he stepped on the high school pitch.
“I’ve come a long way,” said McVey, who is is hovering around the 10-goal plateau this season. “This has been my best year so far, my senior year.”
He benefitted from the knowledge of his older brother T.J., whom he watched handle the ups and downs of high school soccer when he played at Benet.
The elder McVey now competes for Carthage College, which is ranked seventh in the United Soccer Coaches Region VIII poll. The younger McVey said he’s unsure about playing at the next level, though he’s keeping his options open.
“I look up a lot to my older brother, T.J.,” McVey said. “Last year I was a right wing; I switched to a striker. I learned a lot watching him and his playing style and got tips from him and how to make runs across and not just run straight.”
Aurora Central coach Enrique Anaya said McVey has had a strong season. McVey scored a goal in Friday's 5-1 win over Indian Creek in a Class A Somonauk Regional semifinal. The Chargers scored the first four goals to advance to take control of the match. Previously they topped Indian Creek 3-1 on the road Sept. 2.
Aurora Central plays the host school, the top-seed of the Oregon Sectional's Sub-sectional A, Tuesday in the regional final.
“Jake’s freshman year was definitely tough, because he didn’t get to hardly play at all,” Anaya said. “He came out strong in his sophomore year and started at left wing and ended up being a striker in the past two years. He’s definitely a leader and a strong player with a strong mentality. Coming from an ACL injury is tough, but he was able to do that and that showed a lot about his character to keep on going."
Aurora Central coach Enrique Anaya said his team features an abundance of talented youngsters ready to experience playoff soccer this fall. They got their first taste when the fourth-seeded Chargers (10-11-1) ousted fifth-seeded Indian Creek.
“We’re a young team that still has a lot to learn,” Anaya said. “I think we were seeded perfectly. I have a strong feeling about this group that we can matchup with everyone in (the sub-sectional) with us. The boys will have to come out strong and prove it.
“We were able to put things together and controlled possession for most of the game against Indian Creek,” Anaya continued. “Possession was the key. We have to play the same way against Somonauk. We have to come out like we did against Indian Creek and need to keep our game to small ball and not go with long balls."
Youth will be served
Aurora Central could be one of the youngest teams in the Chicagoland area this fall. Freshman dominiate the Chargers varsity roster with 12 players. The senior class is represented by six players. and the junior and sophomore classes have five.
Anaya starts freshmen: Luke Janosek, goalkeeper; Alan Acosta, center midfielder; Omar Flores, defensive midfielder/defender; Christopher Incandela, defender; Diego Leon, defender; Adolfo Viveros, defender; and Landon Diedrich, defender. The freshmen reserves are Owen Nordenburg, Leroy Arias, Miguel Vazquez and Giovannie Gutierrez.
Guitierrez scored two goals in the regional semifinal win over Indian Creek.
“These (young) kids just know how to play the game,” Anaya said. “I don’t have to tell them much. They just know the game really well. I just direct them where I want them to go, and they just produce. I’m proud of how them and how they’re playing.”
Key sophomore contributors include Matthew VanDeman, Neil Mayer and Connor Dineen.