A longtime dream became reality Tuesday as Stevenson’s boys soccer program earned its first-ever trip into the final four.
“It’s a dream — it’s always been a dream,” said Stevenson coach Mark Schartner, who is in his 25th year of coaching the Patriots. “You don’t play necessarily for this moment. You play every game the best you can. The chips fall your way and you get to keep playing.
“This season is very enjoyable because of the length of it. But they all have been great.”
Stevenson shut out Glenbrook North 2-0 in the Class 3A Glenbrook South supersectional in Glenview.
The Patriots (19-3-1) next play Naperville Central (22-1) in the state semifinals, at 7 p.m. Friday at Lincoln-Way North in Frankfort. Naperville Central shut out Edwardsville 1-0 in the Normal Community supersectional Tuesday night.
Stevenson scored both its goals against the wind less than a minute apart in the second half.
Patriots goalkeeper Quentin Low recorded his 16th clean sheet.
“We’ve always played better against the wind this season,” Schartner said. “I don’t know why. Our kids went in the locker room (at halftime) with so much confidence.
“When you play a second half like we did against Libertyville (last Friday), one of the best teams in the state, this team shows it just doesn’t know how to quit.”
Jared Moelaart netted the first Stevenson goal in the 47th minute. Alex Drexler sent a through ball down the middle, and Moelaart turned, then beat a defender and Glenbrook North keeper Jack Pucin.
“I felt a defender on my left side,” Moelaart said. “I faked left and received it with the inside of my knee. Then I shot from the other side. I thought it would be a tough shot to save. It was a point-blank shot and the keeper didn’t have time to recover.”
Less than a minute later, Moelaart knocked in his second goal with a header off a service from Michael Dobin.
The Patriots didn’t allow the Spartans many shots towards their goal as a typically stingy defense did its usual thing. Dobin, Alex Smith, Justin Johnson and Ross Comitor were a solid line in front of Low (7 saves).
“We had a phenomenal defense and I don’t have to make a lot of big saves,” Low said.
Glenbrook North had the wind to its advantage in the second half, but all the shots were limited.
“Stevenson was a heck of a team and well coached,” Glenbrook North coach Paul Vignocchi said. “(Stevenson) was a very good defensive team. Actually, there were two good defensive teams. Stevenson had just a little bit more on the attack than we did.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.