It's simple -- when Pat Flynn scores, Naperville Central wins.
Flynn found the back of the net with 21:47 remaining in the first half and the Redhawks added an insurance goal in the second half to shut out Waubonsie Valley 2-0 during Saturday afternoon's Class 3A Naperville Central regional championship.
"It was a good cross by (Mike) West and the ball just came out for a volley," Flynn said. "I figured I might as well try to put it on frame. I mean, there was a lot of traffic there, but I just happened to get it through."
Flynn has scored in 18 of Naperville Central's 20 games this season. He didn't score in the team's lone defeat to Naperville North on Oct. 2.
"He's got a nose for the goal along with very good skills and a high level of confidence," Waubonsie Valley coach Angelo DiBernardo said. "From that standpoint he's the best I've seen this year at the high school level."
Naperville Central (19-1) once again shined defensively as the Redhawks recorded their 13th shutout and fourth straight clean sheet. They minimized chances from Waubonsie Valley's biggest threats of Timmy Miller, Frankie Saize and Gytis Savukynas.
"They've got some players that can make you pay if you're not disciplined," Naperville Central coach Troy Adams said. "I felt we had the ball a significant amount of the time and a lot of that was defensive patience and allowing them to make some mistakes and then taking advantage of them."
While Flynn is the all-time leading scorer in Naperville Central history and now has 26 goals on the season, it was the first goal of the season by senior Connor Allen that gave the Redhawks some breathing room.
Flynn initated a free kick from just inside the 20-yard line, junior David Murphy's misfired, but Allen pounced on the rebound with 14:50 left in the contest.
Allen, who scored 3 goals last year as a forward, has graciously shined in a new role at center back this fall.
"I've been working a lot on work rate and trying to get the ball and be at the right place at the right time," Allen said. "It was huge to go up 2-0. We felt a lot better then, and I think it helped put (Waubonsie Valley) out of the game."
The loss snapped the Warriors' eight-game winning streak.
"When you get into a win streak, the players and coaches and everybody feel confident," DiBernardo said. "We were pretty confident coming into regionals and this game, but we lost to a good team."