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updated: 9/19/2013 11:02 PM

Muchmore, Libertyville outlast St. Viator in PK's

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By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

How much more could a fan ask for?

Libertyville's boys soccer team went the distance with host St. Viator on Thurdsay, going through 100 minutes of action that included 2 overtimes.

Even that much play couldn't decide a winner.

Sam Muchmore could, though.

The Wildcats' keeper made the difference in penalty kicks, with a huge diving save to his right for one of his 11 stops as No. 5 seed Libertyville edged No. 4 St. Viator 2-1 (5-3 on PK's) in the 10th Annual Pepsi Showdown quarterfinals in Arlington Heights on Thursday afternoon.

The Wildcats (5-3) next face No. 8 Lane Tech (9-1-1) in the final four semifinals 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon at the Lyons Township fields. Lane Tech ousted defending champion and top-seeded Lyons 3-2.

Muchmore made the right choice on his big dive to the right, which came against St. Viator senior midfielder Spencer Moore.

"Honestly, it was a guess," Muchmore said. "I just went down and made the save. It just all felt right. It went on my right hand as I went down.

"I just generally look at a person and decide right or left. I thought his line was kind of weird, so I just went for it."

Trey Toohey scored the decisive penalty kick for the victory and was promptly swarmed by his teammates.

"I got up there and tried to get the ball set," Toohey said. "I was trying to block out everything around me. I was trying to think of it as a simple shot. Obviously, I'm nervous -- 'what if I miss?' But once Sam (Muchmore) made the big save, if I had missed, I don't lose the game. If I make it, then I win the game."

Libertyville opened the first five minutes with a lot of pressure but couldn't find the back of the net as St. Viator keeper Tom Martin was stopping everything in sight. He finished with 11 saves.

St. Viator (5-3) broke through with the first goal as Moore (4 goals and 6 assists this fall) got past a couple of Wildcats defenders in the 21st minute.

"Coming into this game we won 8-0 (against Carmel), 5-0 (against Oswego), 4-0 (aginst St. Charles North), and in practice we were doing so well finishing," Moore said. "In this game we learned some things and we thought we had it. All those goals don't mean anything, because we couldn't put the ball into the back of the net at the very end."

The Wildcats made some changes in the second half which turned out to be positive.

"First half, we tried to build too much," Libertyville coach Andy Bitta said. "You can't do that against St. Viator. Once we figured that out, we tried to play more direct. We became more explosive and very dangerous.

"We had them on their heels and I thought we could've ended it in regulation."

Libertyville tied the game in the 67th minute. Lloyd Chatfield sent a low cross toward the back post, where Kevin Reilly finished it.

The Wildcats kept the pressure on and had several chances to finish, but they were turned away by Martin.

St. Viator had a couple of clear chances in each overtime for the victory. But in each situation they sent the ball over the crossbar or wide of the frame.

"No way we deserved to lose that game," St. Viator coach Mike Taylor said. "(Libertyville) came with pressure at us, but they didn't get anything out of it.

"We had our chances in the two overtimes. All we had to do is to put the ball into the back of the net. Libertyville has a nice team, but the better team didn't win. It's not the playoffs, it's the season -- and you learn from it."

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