Waubonsie Valley continued its late-season surge during Wednesday's Class 3A Naperville Central semifinal, beating Oswego 3-1.
It marked the eighth straight victory for the Warriors (13-6-1), who will move on to face their stiffest challenge of the season when they return to Naperville Central to take on the top-seeded Redhawks at 3 p.m. Saturday.
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"Yeah, we've been playing pretty well," Waubonsie Valley junior defender Ben Zoet said. "We've started to come together at the right time."
Frankie Saiz scored for the 14th time this fall to put the Warriors ahead with 22:49 on the clock in the opening half.
Waubonsie Valley (13-6-1) appeared comfortable to head into the intermission with the small lead, but the Warriors delivered a devastating blow to the Panthers just a few seconds before halftime.
Zoet, who only had one goal coming into the contest, caught up with a through ball from 50 yards out and blasted it into the goal for a 2-0 lead that proved insurmountable.
"I just was able to get into the right space at the right time and finish," Zoet said. "It gave us a lot of confidence going into halftime and the second half."
A 24-yard shot from Timmy Miller, who connected with his right foot with 16:32 left in the second half, pretty much sealed the contest. Miller's rising shot went beyond the reach of Oswego goalkeeper Christian Torres.
Oswego (9-10-1) didn't do much offensively throughout the contest but avoided the shutout when senior Jeremy Wine connected on a header with 5:20 remaining.
In the opener David Murphy scored late in the first half and added a pair of second-half assists to help Naperville Central cruise to a 7-0 victory over Geneva.
Naperville Central (18-1) didn't put the Vikings away immediately, although the Redhawks took a 1-0 lead just 9:26 into the first half on a Mike West goal from 25 yards.
Geneva (7-8-2) was without senior Matt Butz, its top offensive threat, who was injured during Saturday's quarterfinal victory over Batavia. The Vikings were unable to do much offensively in his absence but kept within striking distance until the Redhawks erupted for a pair of scores in the final 8:37 of the first half.
Ajay Varghese sent a cross to David Murphy to make it 2-0 and Jay Tegge connected with Devin Amoo-Mensah with just 1:19 left before halftime to make it 3-0.
"It's always tough when you lose a key player like (Butz)," Geneva coach Ryan Estabrook said. "I'm not sure how much of a difference that made because (Naperville Central) is a very good team and it'll be interesting to see how far they'll get."
Jordi Heeneman, Sam Reskala, Pat Flynn and J.J. Gustaitis all scored in the second half for the Redhawks, who received contributions up and down the roster.
"The last four to five games we've gotten better as we've subbed," Adams said. "That's not to say those players are necessarily better, but they've done a better job in that particular game. To make a great season you have to get great contributions from everyone."