Naperville Central knew it needed a fast start at home against Wheaton North on Tuesday.
After a too-close-for-comfort 3-1 victory against Oswego East on Saturday, the Redhawks used their trademark stifling defense and the always-reliable Pat Flynn on offense against the Falcons.
The result was a 5-0 DuPage Valley Conference win that kept the defending Class 3A runners-up undefeated at 13-0-0 (3-0-0 in the DVC).
The Redhawks have given up multiple goals only once this year and Tuesday’s home victory was their eighth shutout of the season. The Falcons (2-7-4, 1-3-0) finished with 3 shots on the night.
“We came out weak on Saturday and got down 1-0 at halftime,” Flynn said. “We weren’t really satisfied with our effort, so we knew we had to come out strong today. We got the shutout and (goalkeeper) Mike Pavliga continues to play well in the net and does a great job organizing our defense. He’s a three-year starter and we feel very confident with him.”
Flynn, who recently set the Naperville Central scoring record, had 2 goals on the night. The first came just seven minutes into the contest after he sprinted away from a Wheaton North defender and worked his way around goalkeeper A.J. Bibergall, who came near the top of the box to defend the play. Flynn went to his right and placed the ball into the uncontested net for a 1-0 lead.
Flynn put his team up 2-0 some 19 minutes later when he spun around a defender and drilled a kick into the left side of the net.
“None of the goals were an individual effort,” Flynn said. “We really focus on two-touch plays in practice. It’s harder to defend someone when the ball is constantly moving.”
The Redhawks scored two more goals before halftime as junior midfielder Devon Amoo-Mensah tallied one of those goals and assisted on the other.
Amoo-Mensah’s unassisted goal came with about five minutes left in the half when he took a pass from Flynn across the field, set up a shot and kicked the ball past Bibergall.
“I came into the game looking to score after coming off an injury,” Amoo-Mensah said. “Flynn found me wide open and I took the man on and got the goal.”
Amoo-Mensah then assisted teammate Alexsi Pelkonen just 30 seconds later, giving his team a 4-0 cushion at the break.
Junior forward David Murphy finished the scoring for the Redhawks when he registered his first goal of the season at the 38:01 mark of the second half. He took a pass from Drake Swope off his head and into the net for the game’s final score.
The Redhawks finished with a dominant 28-3 shot advantage over the Falcons.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.