Huntley knocks out Lake Zurich in OT
Huntley boys soccer coach Kris Grabner was forced to stay on the bench Tuesday night after receiving a yellow card from the referee.
He was on his feet before Nikolaos Mihalopoulos' shot went in 2½ minutes into overtime as the Red Raiders beat Lake Zurich, 1-0, to advance to the quarterfinals of the Pepsi Showdown.
"As soon as he was winding up, I was off the bench," said Grabner, who was shown a yellow card with 19:20 remaining in the second half. "I know he is going to bury that one. I don't care who the goalie is."
Mihalopoulos flicked a pass from David Pardo over his head and ran past a defender. He got to the ball and hit a bouncing ball with his left foot. The shot went past Bears goalkeeper Brandon Bacardi, off the inside of the far post and into the net.
"In my mind I had to take the ball and just score the goal," said Mihalopoulos, who hit the outside of the same post in the second half with a shot from 30 yards out. "We were all working hard. We wanted the win. I took the shot and it went in."
Huntley, the tournament's No. 3 seed, will host No. 6 Morton on Thursday in the quarterfinals. Grabner knows the Red Raiders (9-0-1) will need to play better Thursday, especially in the midfield, to move on.
Lake Zurich (5-4-1) controlled the possession most of the second half, consistently winning balls in the midfield. Huntley goalkeeper Austen Emery had to make 4 saves in the second half to keep the Red Raiders from falling behind.
Jacob Karbowski made Emery make a diving save with 27:15 remaining in the second half. The rebound went to Nate Rathe, but his shot was blocked out of bounds. Midway through the half, Ian Murray had a free kick just outside the Huntley penalty area. His shot forced Emery to make another diving save as the shot was heading into the low right corner of the goal.
"We certainly feel like we had a lot of chances in the second half," Lake Zurich coach Mike Schmitz said. "Overall, it was a pretty good game. Both teams had lots of chances. It was going to come down to who could bury one. Unfortunately, it was them."
Emery finished with 6 saves for the shutout. Bacardi made 5 saves for the Bears.
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