Allen does it all for Naperville Central
Connor Allen seems to like the Class 3A boys soccer playoffs.
Allen scored his second goal of the season — and second of the postseason — and added an assist in Naperville Central's 2-0 victory Tuesday night against East Aurora at the West Chicago sectional semifinals.
The postseason scoring is a trend the senior began last year, and it's one he hopes to continue for, oh, say, another four games.
"I hope so," Allen said with a big smile. "That's my goal."
Not bad for a lockdown center back.
Allen seemed to be everywhere Tuesday. When he wasn't thwarting Tomcats attacks, he was in the middle of the Tomcats' penalty area, looking to poach a goal.
East Aurora made Allen and his teammates work defensively first, pressing the issue for the first 30 minutes of the game.
"I think we were all really nervous coming into this game," Allen said. "We talked about this team a lot and we knew they were going to be really good. We just didn't come out hard enough, and I think that next game we'll come out harder. We almost paid the price for not coming out as hard as we should have."
"I really would have to go back through, but I'll bet 75 percent of our goals often come in that last 20 minutes of the first half," Redhawks coach Troy Adams said. "We'll get one or two in those last 20 minutes. And it's a combination of just getting comfortable just on the field and then as we've started to make rotations, those players have really raised our level of play."
The momentum shifted Naperville Central's way in the 29th, when senior Pat Flynn sent a free kick from 22 yards into the East Aurora penalty area. Redhawks senior Jack Patrick got a touch to the ball, and Allen swooped in to clean it up from 3 yards out.
"I'm really glad all my hard work is starting to pay off, not just in wins but in goals," Allen said. "We've been keeping shutouts. That's three shutouts in a row, not a single goal all playoffs."
Top-seeded Naperville Central (20-1) kept the momentum into the second half, scoring again in the 48th minute. Right back Ajay Varghese's long throw-in into the East Aurora penalty area reached Allen for a flick-on header toward the far post, where Flynn cleaned up.
It was the DePaul recruit's 27th goal of the season.
The Redhawks will play Metea Valley in Friday's 6 p.m. sectional final.
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