Nelson Herrera more than made up for a dormant first half, striking for 3 goals in 13 minutes in the second half to help host Maine West (12-4-2) overpower visiting Hinsdale South 7-1 in nonconference play Saturday.
The Warriors senior, who was more of a facilitator in the first half, broke open the match with a brilliant one-timer at full speed. It came at the end of Alonso Guerrero's helper in the 52nd minute.
Herrera then followed up less than 60 seconds later to finish a ball sent through by Alex Herrera.
Twelve minutes later, the Warriors' all-time goal-scoring leader finished his day with his 33rd of the season. Miguel Lopez provided a wonderful ball from the right side.
"We've had so much trouble scoring all season long, so when you're chasing the lead early on and don't have a big-time scorer like (Maine) West has, you're going to be in for a long afternoon," said Hinsdale South coach James Vandenburgh. "You cannot fault the effort the guys put in today, nor, for that matter all throughout this year. It's something everyone here is very proud of, and I can tell you it's real easy to coach a group of guys like this who continue to work hard, and play hard right until the very end, just as you saw today."
Hornets first-half keeper Jose Mareno turned in a superb 40 minutes. He turned over his position to senior Danny Perez, whose No. 4 shirt went to Mareno to play the field in the second half.
Perez took 3 sure goals out of the back of the net with brave efforts on point-blank shots.
The first came in the 10th minute by Alonso Guerrero, who two minutes later worked a nice (1-2) in tight quarters with Alex Herrera. But Guerrero was able to double the Warriors advantage at 17 minutes, striking at the back post thanks in part to a helper from Fernando Becerra.
Then, near the half-hour, Christian Ayalas' surge up the center channel wound up with the junior converting his spot kick when the Hornets hauled him down inside the box.
Mareno stayed airborne long enough to make an acrobatic save on Ayala -- however, he could do nothing just before intermission as Ayala drove in his second, and the Warriors' fourth of the first half.
The Hornets (1-13-1) had the better of the play after the break. Nathaniel Michaelis headed wide a Giancarlo Cianelli free kick, and Mike Noble had a shot at Warriors keeper Nick Pisani.
At 51 minutes, Michaelis steered his 40-yard free kick into the back of the net.
But that was it for the Hornets, who had to watch the 'Nelson Herrera Show' for the next 14 minutes.
"I liked the way we possessed today, and especially the ball movement, which led to some great through balls that Nelson finished in the second half," said Warriors coach Alan Matan. "But I have to say what impressed me the most was how hard (Hinsdale) played, even when they got behind. It says a lot about them as a team, and the coaching staff there. I feel that's what we were lacking in all of our losses so I'd like to see our work rate that high from here on out."
With seven minutes left, the match was called as threatening weather quickly emerged. The center official and his assistants immediately cleared everyone out of the stadium.