A senior-dominated defense has been a big reason for Grayslake Central's success on the soccer field this season.
On senior night, the "Ram Tough" defense produced a shutout in a division-clinching win.
Grayslake Central rolled past visiting Woodstock 7-0 Thursday night to wrap up the Fox Valley Conference Fox Division championship.
The Rams (13-2-2, 5-0), who have outscored their FVC Fox foes 21-1, also boasted their season high for goals. They wrap up division play at Hampshire on Thursday night.
Defensively, the Rams were led by Jacob Swearingen, Nate Cerquone, John Moroney and Anthony Betancourth. Connor Gosell and Steve Anderson shared the shutout, as each goalkeeper made 2 saves.
"We've been really solid back there and it has to do with our goalkeeper, too," Swearingen said. "We're all seniors back there, and we all have confidence in each other. Three out of the four have played with each other since we were 9 years old. We do a lot of talking, and we can read each other without talking (too)."
Joey Mudd scored a pair of goals, Isaac Longenecker had a goal and 2 assists, and Leo Orozco contributed a goal and an assist. Alex Stickler, Betancourth and Nick Nayersina had the other goals. Johnny Madrid chipped in an assist.
"This team has been playing together for a while now," said Mudd, who has 11 goals. "A majority have been together since freshman year. We just have a good bond on and off the field. ... Last year our defense kind of struggled. This year our defense has been stepping up."
Grayslake Central is unbeaten in its last 13 games. The Rams' last loss was six weeks ago Antioch.
"This team has played great all year," Rams first-year head coach Steve Feldman said. "We've changed a couple of things up. Isaac (Longenecker), Paul (Kulis), Johnny (Madrid), Joey (Mudd) have played well and distributed the ball well all season.
"Our defense has pulled together at the right time," Feldman added. "We're on a good winning streak."