A starter at the beginning of the year, Nick Winter has seen things a little bit different lately. That's because he's coming off the bench for St. Viator.
Winter sure jumped off the bench on Wednesday night, scoring twice and helping St. Viator get past Lakes 2-1 in a Class 2A Grayslake Central sectional semifinal.
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St. Viator (18-3-3) next has a meeting with Harvard (17-5-2) in the sectional final at 3 p.m. Saturday.
"I do like coming off the bench because I can see how the team is playing," said Winter, who'd scored at least two goal in a game twice earlier this season, against Notre Dame (3) and Lake Zurich (2).
"We knew that Lakes was coming for us. It was real important and we wanted this one."
Winter scored the first Lions goal in the 38th minute, corraling a loose ball and putting it in the back of the net. The opportunity was created when a shot from Zach Gyuricza ricocheted off the post and Lakes keeper Kevin Ray.
Winter knocked in a second goal in the 54th minute on a header with an assist from Gyuricza.
"We were able to capitalize on (Lakes') mistakes," St. Viator coach Mike Taylor said. "We knew if we pressured their defense, that would be their weakest part of the team.
"(Lakes) has some good midfielders and the forwards are outstanding. But we knew if we got past their defense we could break through."
Lakes (15-5-4) got a goal back in the final eight minutes as Brian Werchek scored on a header following a Ramon Marin corner kick. But the Eagles couldn't find the equalizer in the waning minutes.
Lakes stayed right with the Lions every step of the way -- except for getting that tying goal.
"I think that we did everything we wanted to," Lakes coach Kevin Kullby said. "We wanted to create chances. We had shots right on the keeper (Michael McGrath) and then we hit a post.
"The big issue was the counter -- that they made something out of it. When we had something good, we didn't make it happen. That's the nature of the beast and we defended very well. I don't believe that we were outplayed."
Lakes had one of its best seasons with a school record for victories and fewest losses. The Eagles didn't lose at home and had just one tie.
"We played some awesome soccer this fall," Kullby said. "It was fun to watch this team. We had a lot of balanced scoring among the players."