Breaking News Bar
updated: 10/11/2012 11:31 PM

A hands-on triumph for Libertyville

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Libertyville players surround Ryan McKenzie, center, after he scored the first goal of Thursday's North Suburban Conference championship game between Round Lake and host Libertyville.

       Libertyville players surround Ryan McKenzie, center, after he scored the first goal of Thursday's North Suburban Conference championship game between Round Lake and host Libertyville.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville midfielder Liam O'Connell shoots past Round Lake goalie Jose Martinez for the second goal of the game during Thursday's NSC title game.

       Libertyville midfielder Liam O'Connell shoots past Round Lake goalie Jose Martinez for the second goal of the game during Thursday's NSC title game.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Tomide Owolabi and Round Lake's Lorenzo Cortez battle for a header in the first half of NSC championship play Thursday at Libertyville.

       Libertyville's Tomide Owolabi and Round Lake's Lorenzo Cortez battle for a header in the first half of NSC championship play Thursday at Libertyville.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville forward Lloyd Chatfield III dribbles around Round Lake's Edgar Rodriguez in Thursday's North Suburban Conference title game at Libertyville.

       Libertyville forward Lloyd Chatfield III dribbles around Round Lake's Edgar Rodriguez in Thursday's North Suburban Conference title game at Libertyville.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

Ryan McKenzie demonstrated a deft touch.

And afterward, as he and his Libertyville soccer teammates celebrated their 3-1 win over visiting Round Lake in Thursday night's North Suburban Conference championship game, McKenzie held the Wildcats' prize and provided the perfect touch.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

"Touch the trophy, guys!" he said to his teammates.

McKenzie and Connor McNeir headed home corner kicks, while Liam O'Connell scored the other Wildcats goal.

The NSC title was Libertyville's first in almost 10 years.

"It was spur of the moment, knowing it's once in a lifetime," McKenzie said of his on-field gesture to his teammates after the game. "I wanted everybody to be able to experience the feeling of all of this. I wanted everybody to feel the trophy and be able to come back to school someday and see our picture and trophy in the school. They can be the ones showing their kids that that's them touching the trophy."

Libertyville (14-2-1) won despite playing without one of its best players in Austin Bitta, who had to sit out after receiving a red card in Tuesday's win over Lake Zurich.

"We played well and I thought without Austin, we might struggle a little bit," Libertyville coach Andy Bitta said. "We all picked things up real well. We did the exact things we did when we played Warren. We played defensive-minded and countered with our speed."

McKenzie, a defender, scored his second goal of the season when he headed home Tanner Sanks' corner kick in the 19th minute.

"We ran a play where I picked off another man's guy," McKenzie said. "His man dropped off the near post, instead of the far post. I just decided to step off and go to the penalty spot. The ball was there waiting for me."

O'Connell made it 2-0 when he deflected in a loose ball in the 39th minute, and the Wildcats took that cushion into halftime.

McNeir put Libertyville up 3-0, as he used his head to knock in Nick Vogel's corner kick in the 72nd minute.

Round Lake (16-3-1) got the goal back in the 75th minute, as Mauricio Salgado converted a free kick.

"Libertyville's defense was playing hard and pressuring us," Panthers midfielder Eddie Ramirez said. "We just couldn't set up anything. We didn't play our best. It just wasn't our day."

Round Lake, the Prairie Division champions, had its unbeaten string of 14 games snapped. The NSC Lake champs didn't allow the Panthers to play the type of soccer they wanted.

"Libertyville was a good team," Round Lake coach Hugo Tellez said. "We tried to play their way, and that's not the way we play. We were playing longball and got out of our rhythm. Our rhythm of playing soccer is passing.

"We had a good run of 14 in a row (without a loss) and now it's something that we needed to get out of our system. It's a great accomplishment for Round Lake. These guys are going use this when regionals start next week."

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here