St. Charles North got off to a great start during Saturday's Class 3A Wheaton North regional championship against St. Charles East.
Unfortunately for the North Stars, they had very little excitement the rest of the way.
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St. Charles North (8-10-2) jumped ahead 1-0 on a Logan Dunne goal just 72 seconds in, but the Saints responded 15 seconds later and then added six more goals in an impressive 7-1 victory.
"In my biggest nightmare of how a game could start it had to be giving up a goal (that quickly)," St. Charles East coach Paul Jennison said. "To get one back right away helped alleviate some of the horrible feeling in my stomach, but to put the second one in was great, and then I think it was a case of when the third one came and how we can deal with the rest of the game."
St. Charles East (18-2-1) drew even on a Jake Sterling goal and then took the lead for good in the 6th minute when sophomore Taylor Ortiz scored.
"They had all the hype starting off with a quick goal but we never give up," Ortiz said. "Once we scored I think they started to worry that we were going to keep coming back."
TC Hull scored off a free kick from 20 yards away in the 22nd minute, but it was Andrew Shone who came through with the most timely goal, securing possession during a mad scramble in front of the goal and sending a shot into the left corner of the net as time expired in the opening half.
"We have a special team this year and have been scoring a lot of goals," Hull said. "Once we get the first couple in, it gets easier and easier. We finished pretty well and it's not just one player or two, but a bunch of guys scored today."
A halftime break did little to slow the Saints ambush as Michael Macek scored 55 seconds into the second half. TC Hull added his second goal of the contest with 27:12 remaining and Daniel DiLeonardi joined in the fun when he scored with 22:38 left before the Saints happily received their regional title plaque.
"Quite a response. All I can say is hat's off to them," North Stars coach Eric Willson said. "But seven goals is seven goals. With as good as they move and as good as they are offensively, it's still unacceptable to defend like we did and expect to win a game."
What didn't help the North Stars was the absence of starting keeper Billy Larsen, who has had a high fever the past three days. The North Stars were forced to insert freshman Kevin Sabres into goal for the first time this fall.
"It's tough for him to be in that spot," Willson said. "But we didn't really help him out a lot either.
The regional title was the first in Jennison's tenure as both the boys and girls coach. He'll now look to prepare the Saints for Tuesday's Class 3A York sectional semifinal against Streamwood.
One of the Saints' two losses this season came to Streamwood, a 1-0 decision on Aug. 28. They also watched Kevin Kurtz, who has since returned to action, suffer a severe injury in that contest.
"They've got a lot of talent and have improved, but so have we," Jennison said. "I think it'll be a good game and a good advocate for our (Upstate Eight) conference."
In the second sectional semifinal at York, South Elgin will play Larkin.
The two semifinal winners will play at 4:30 Friday for the sectional championship.