Overlook an opening-round game at the regional level, and your season could end in a hurry.
The Lakes boys soccer team didn't want to let that happen Tuesday afternoon.
No worries, though. The top-seeded Eagles came out with a strong effort and shut out No. 4 Richmond-Burton 4-0 in Class 2A Antioch regional semifinal play.
"I didn't realize this until I was looking over some scores," said Lakes coach Kevin Kullby, whose team improved to 12-9-1. "Most of the time, these regional scores are a lot tighter than I remember. You sometimes worry, because a break goes a certain way ... then the psychology of the game changes dramatically. By getting a couple of goals you're in good shape, but if you're down a couple of goals, then you're in bad shape."
Lucas Istvanek scored twice and assisted on another to lead the way for the Eagles. Jonathan Stanley netted his 21st goal and Trevor Rey had the other goal. Scott Brugioni set a team record for assists in a season with his 16th, and Joey Savino picked up an assist.
Lakes next faces the winner of the other Antioch regional semifinal, which takes at 4 p.m. Wednesday and features No. 2 Johnsburg and No. 3 Antioch. The regional championship match is at 4 p.m. Friday.
Istvanek scored the first of his 2 goals in the 25th minute on Tuesday when he finished a shot after an assist from Stanley.
Istvanek returned the favor to Stanley about four minutes later with a service that led to a Stanley header.
Istvanek scored his second goal on a header of his own off a Brugioni corner kick in the 47th minute. Rey got the final goal in the 67th minute from a Savino feed.
"It was all the help from the outside, with Allen Johnson and Bojan Zgonjanin," Istvanek said. "There were easy through balls, and it opened up the passing."
Brugioni surpassed the team assist mark set by Steve Korosis.
"It shows the play-making ability we have," Brugioni said. "We're more about the team passing the ball and finding the best possible way to score."
Former Mundelein graduate and first-year Richmond-Burton head coach Casey DeCaluwe saw his team have a tough time trying to contain Lakes' scoring attack.
"Lakes is a great program," said DeCaluwe, whose team finished 3-14-5. "(Lakes) knows how to play a beautiful style of soccer. We knew what was coming at us. We had to drop an extra guy back and be disciplined back there. But (Lakes) took advantage of some mistakes we made."