Geneva got off to a great start and used it to put away Batavia, 2-1, in Saturday's Class 3A Naperville Central boys soccer quarterfinal.
It was the second time the Vikings defeated the Bulldogs this season, as Geneva also won, 4-1, on Sept. 20. On this occasion, the teams battled through a steady rain for all 80 minutes.
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Geneva (7-7-2) scored twice in the first seven minutes to build the early lead, which would also proved to be all the scoring it would need.
Beck Nebergall received a pass from Josh Poythress and headed it to Alex Zefron who finished to put the Vikings ahead 1-0.
Shortly thereafter, David Goodyear assisted on a Matt Butz goal.
"It was good to get off to a quick start like that," Nebergall said. "We've been playing well at home and were able to use it to get going early."
Geneva won for the fifth time in six games. The Vikings have played their best soccer at home, but a 1-0 loss at home to St. Francis on a prior Saturday remained fresh on their minds.
"We've had problems playing on Saturday and that was a point of emphasis throughout the entire week," Geneva coach Ryan Estabrook said. "We wanted to make sure we came out early and played hard and aggressive."
Batavia (3-14-3) didn't go away easily, which the Bulldogs could have easily done after falling behind early.
"After we gave up the goals in the first seven minutes I thought we played very well," Batavia coach Mark Gianfrancesco said. "I thought we had better chances than they did, but our season, that upper 90 crossbar, for whatever reason, we've hit it more than I've ever seen in my life."
Senior Peter Munson avoided it with 19:36 left in the second half to push the Bulldogs a goal away from a potential overtime battle, but they weren't able to find the equalizer, despite a handful of chances.
The Vikings advance to play top-seeded Naperville Central on Tuesday and will undoubtedly be without with the services of Butz, who appeared to fracture a bone in his right leg with 21:57 left in the second half.
"In talking to his parents, he's probably broken 10 bones in his life," Estabrook said. "I thought we were going to make a full season without him getting hurt again, but that was a nasty collision and it looks like a broken bone."