There's a first time for everything.
As hard as it is to believe for Streamwood, after a 5-0 win over No. 11 seed Elgin to take its own Class 3A boys soccer regional Saturday, the No. 3 seed Sabres earned their first regional crown in program history, a watershed moment for the program that was allusive to head coach Matt Polovin and his group for several years.
"It's been getting better and better every year," Polovin said. "And when you finally break through, we've been in this game a few times, we just haven't been able to pull through. Now, when you finally get it, and the way we did it with a 5-0 win at home, there's a lot of kids here going to this school, even next year, how could it not get everyone that excited to say, 'hey, I could have a chance to possibly do this next year or in a few years.'"
Streamwood (13-7) moves on to the York sectional to face No. 1 seed St. Charles East at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. If the Sabres can pull off the upset, the sectional final next week would be U-46 all-inclusive with Larkin and South Elgin slated to face each other in Tuesday's second semifinal at York.
But for right now, the Sabres are celebrating.
"We're the first team ever to do it," midfielder Nestor Ascencio said. "It was just a matter of us settling down from pregame jitters, kind of led into the first half. But we settled down, did what we had to do and played our style of soccer and we got some goals and got the win."
Elgin's defense held its own for the first 25 minutes of the first half until the Sabres broke through on a redirect from goalie Eleno Montes that Mario Rodriguez sneaked in for the essential game-winner in the 27th minute.
Christian Rodriguez lofted one toward the net 2 minutes later that appeared to be off Elgin's Salvador Rodriguez for the 2-0 lead.
The deficit at halftime seemed too much for the Maroons (6-10-2), who had a roller coaster of a season after the team forfeited contests due to player eligibility issues.
"We've been through a lot," Elgin coach Dave Borg said. "We forfeited 10 games. Trying to figure out what our lineup is going to be -- we probably played with 10 different (lineups) throughout the season -- I'm proud of the guys. They endured a lot and they kept on going."
Ascencio, Mario Rodriguez and Edwin Rueda all added second-half goals for Streamwood while goalkeeper Phil Lewy made 4 saves in net.