Proving the first time was no fluke, the Westminster Christian boys soccer team won its second straight Class 1A regional title Tuesday.
Josh Beachler and Stephen Rodgers scored goals in either half to fuel the Warriors' 2-0 victory over North Shore Country Day in Elgin.
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The victory advances Westminster Christian (11-6-1) to Saturday's Lisle sectional semifinal against Chicago Latin, a 2-1 winner over Timothy Christian Tuesday. That match will be played at Lisle Middle School at 3 p.m.
"This was our goal at the beginning of the season, Warriors coach Mike Richardson said of the regional repeat. "We didn't really know if we were going to achieve it. The coaching staff and I were like, 'I dunno, we miss this guy, this guy, this guy, this guy and this guy.'
"We're a different team, so it took a little bit of time to figure out what the strengths were because one person's strength last year wasn't a strength we needed this year.
One strength every team can use is a proven striker, and the Warriors definitely possess such a weapon in 6-foot-3 junior Josh Beachler, who scored the game's first goal.
The play was set up by junior Steve Baier, a midfielder who made a move and drove to the right corner.
"I tried to bend the ball right into the side pocket, said Baier, a transfer from Wheaton Academy.
The ball caromed off the near post right to the feet of Beachler, who settled the ball and buried the point-blank chance to give Westminster Christian a 1-0 lead with 9:48 left in the first half.
The goal was Beachler's 40th of the season.
"It feels pretty good right now. It's still surreal, Beachler said of the victory. "Our team came out here and did the best they could and they did really well. I'm really proud of these guys. We were fortunate to come out with the win.
North Shore Country Day (8-7) played without leading scorer Zach Young, who broke his wrist in Saturday's semifinal, yet the Raiders were able to stay within a goal at halftime.
The Warriors gained some breathing room soon after play resumed, however.
Beachler attacked from the right side of the box while Rodgers maintained proper spacing. Beachler's shot was blocked by NSCD senior Luke Lee and deflected toward Rodgers.
"Josh was in the corner so I just stayed in the middle and hoped he could get a chip in so I could get it with my head, Rodgers said. "But it was too low to get it with my head, so I just tried to use my foot.
"I was really happy he was there, Beachler said. "He was in the right place at the right time and he put it away.
Rodgers successful shot with 38:18 left in the game took some of the fight out of the Raiders.
"The biggest thing that hurt us was the early goal in the second half, North Shore coach Jeff Richey said. "A guy beats one of our defenders, my defender steps up, makes a great block, it bounces right into another guy's wheelhouse, and he put it away.
Senior goalkeeper Ian Dutcher made 4 saves for Westminster. Fred Cheon and Timothy Morette split time in goal for North Shore Country Day.
The Warriors outshot the Raiders 6-4 and owned an edge in possession time throughout the second half.
"It was all about execution, Beachler said of the reason for the repeat. "I think it's great for our guys, it's great for our school and it's great for all the fans who support us.