Warren produces key NSC Lake win vs. Libertyville
Down the stretch, every boys soccer matchup in the North Suburban Conference's Lake Division seems like a playoff game.
That's what happens when six teams still have a shot at winning it all with only a couple of games remaining.
Warren picked up a needed victory and scored four times in a 4-2 decision over host Libertyville on Tuesday night.
Jack McKearnan led Warren with 2 goals. Joe Haight, Mikey Pliskat had the others and Rafa Macias picked up 2 assists.
The outcome kept the Blue Devils (9-2-5) in the thick of the Lake Division race at 2-1-2, while the Wildcats dropped to 7-6 and 2-2. The other contenders are Lake Forest (8-5-1, 3-1), Mundelein (9-5-4, 3-2), Lake Zurich (6-6-2, 2-1-1) and Stevenson (6-3-4, 2-2-1)
"We were able to find the back of the net," Warren coach Jason Ahonen said. "This is by far the most goals that we've scored against an opponent like Libertyville. No matter what the records are when Warren and Libertyville play, it's going to be a battle. It's tough for us to win here."
It was a back-and-forth battle, with 5 goals scored in the first half.
Warren's McKearnan scored the opening goal off a Macias assist in the 10th minute.
Libertyville's Thomas Vondrak evened the game at 1-1 in the 18th minute.
Haight pushed the Blue Devils ahead 2-1 in the 27th minute with an unassisted goal.
Kiki Savatic tied it up again 2-2 with a shot that rattled off the far post and into the goal for the Wildcats in the 38th minute.
But Warren pulled ahead 3-2 when Pliskat scored after a feed from Joe Villamil just a minute later.
"We figured out at the half that we needed to play much better defensive soccer in the second half," Ahonen said. "(Libertyville) was very explosive on offense. We had to man-mark Lloyd Chatfield right off, knowing what he has done to us in the past. Jim Kwon did a great job to man-mark him all game."
The Blue Devils added an insurance goal in the 71st minute, as McKearnan scored near the back post off a low cross pass from Macias for his fourth goal of the season.
"We've yelled about all year to get to the back post," McKearnan said. "I was just able to get it in. We knew it would take time (scoring goals). It's coming together and nice to have (Rafa Macias) feeding me the ball."
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