St. Charles East denies Geneva
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This season, Geneva has already endured that gut-wrenching feeling that comes when giving up a game-winning goal with seconds remaining.
On Tuesday, they surrendered one just 39 seconds in and wouldn't score of one of its own over the final 79:21 in a 2-0 loss to visiting St. Charles East.
The game was the nightcap of the 8th Annual Tri-Cities Showcase and also served as a fundraiser for the Owen Payton Foundation. Owen, age 7, has had numerous surgeries due to congenital heart defects.
"I thought the first 25 minutes were fantastic," Saints coach Paul Jennison said. "I thought it was good passing movement, pace and pressure, quality first touches, good finishing, so no complaints at all. Unfortunately it seemed to drop off and we didn't take control of the game as much as I would've liked."
Fortunately for the undefeated Saints (11-0-3, 4-0-0), they put two goals into the back of the net early and then greedily denied the Vikings throughout the contest.
"We always have someone pushing and supporting and all the defenders really work well together," Saints junior defender Kyle McLean said. "We stopped any momentum they had and allowed our midfielders to drop back and to continue to work for us."
Senior Kevin Heinrich scored via a header off a corner kick to give the Saints the quick start.
"If you're going to score, the best time is the first 10 seconds, but if you're going to concede a goal, the best time is still (that), because you have 79-and-half minutes still to go," Jennison said. "Set pieces have been a strong point."
Geneva (5-8-0, 0-4-0) had arguably its best chance to net the equalizer in the eighth minute as a yellow card provided Beck Nebergall with an 18-year free kick, but his shot sailed high.
"You think if you get this one back, the energy is back in the game and we're feeling better about ourselves," Vikings coach Ryan Estabrook said. "It would've been a nice one to have, but free kicks are never easy when they have a six-person wall."
Tyler Robbins added a goal with 17:04 left in the first half to give the Saints a bit of a cushion.
"I saw Geneva bringing their right back in more so I told the boys to put it in," Robbins said. "To find me out wide because they just press in and I got a great ball right in front of me."
Neither team did much offensively in the second half, with whatever solid opportunities each had being denied by strong backline and keeper play.
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