There's an old adage in soccer that a 2-goal lead is usually safe. And a 3-goal advantage? A sure thing.
Well, Warren sure needed all three Tuesday.
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The Blue Devils escaped with a 3-2 victory against host Lake Zurich in a North Suburban Lake Division match.
Goalkeeper Nick Hathuc made 3 outstanding stops in the second half to help Warren preserve the win.
"(Lake Zurich) was the better team in the second half," Warren coach Jason Ahonen said. "No doubt about it. (Lake Zurich) put the pressure on us. We were lucky enough to keep another one out of the net.
"(Lake Zurich) had plenty of chances. We're fortunate enough to get out of here with a win instead of a tie or a loss."
Warren (7-1, 1-1) put together a 3-goal outburst in a six-minute span of the first half, then saw Lake Zurich (1-5-1,0-1) chip away and get within a goal in the second half.
The Blue Devils' goals came from Aunor Solis, Nick Wegrznowicz and Timmy Pieper. Sean Kirwan and Daniel Szczepanek both had assists.
Hathuc was a backup for Brady Walsh (Marquette) last year. Now he's looking mighty comfortable in prime time.
"He played his best game of his high school career." Ahonen said. "He played very, very well."
Hathuc stopped a couple of shots that were point-blank attempts, and another he snared out of the air.
"We were struggling back there," Hathuc said. "(Lake Zurich) had a lot of through balls and our defense couldn't clear the ball."
Matt Montemayer scored the first Bears goal with an assist from Miguel Hernandez in the 36th minute. Hernandez brought Lake Zurich within a goal at 3-2 as Tim Burroughs assisted.
"Sometimes it's not enough, and you have to keep going," said Hernandez, who has 4 goals and 2 assists this season. "Warren had a good goalkeeper. I know I had a good shot earlier, and a couple others. We just have to work more as a team."
The Bears are staying close in most matches thus far. Now it's a matter of finding a way to get some outcomes in their favor.
"We're getting closer," Lake Zurich coach Michael Schmitz said. "In a game like this one, we figured something out -- we figured out how well you can play when you play hard. We had a nice effort in the second half. A call one way or another and there could be a different outcome.
"We're excited about our potential. I thought we had the better of the play for the most part. Their keeper had an outstanding game, especially in the second half. We just have to keep fighting and scratching at it."