Scoring a 75 percent on a calculus midterm won't be worthy of hanging on the refrigerators in most kids' homes.
But finishing 75 percent of its scoring opportunities on the soccer field was laudable for Metea Valley in stunning previously undefeated St. Charles East during Wednesday's Upstate Eight Conference crossover championship.
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Metea Valley was outshot 16-4, but finished three of its chances to beat the Saints, 3-1. Making the victory all the more shocking is the fact that the Saints clobbered the Mustangs, 7-0, on Sept. 7.
"It's a huge confidence booster," Metea Valley coach Josh Robinson. "They smashed us the first time we played and I think we just pushed them to work and work. Last year in the playoffs they saw how hard work goes a long way and tonight I think the seniors and other guys took that into consideration."
Tim Howard had 14 saves for the Mustangs.
Hopes for an undefeated regular season came to an abrupt end for the Saints, who have a No. 1 seed in the Class 4A Schaumburg sectional.
"I can't for the life of me understand how we walk out of here losing, 3-1," Saints coach Paul Jennison said. "We came into tonight, senior night, and they (Metea Valley) were extremely upset with the last time we played and I think the bottom line is we got outworked."
Dakota Rowsey had the first two-goal game of his career. He put the Mustangs ahead 1-0 with 15:47 left in the first half as a pass from Jimmy Kisiel caromed off a defender and resulted in an open look at the net.
"Jimmy took the ball through the middle and played a good ball and they (Saints) got a foot on it," Rowsey said. "I made my run across but stayed aside. I didn't to make a straight run, got a lucky deflection and played it right up and put it away."
St. Charles East (17-1-4) has only trailed a few times this season and had given up more than one goal in just three contests, but never surrendered three. As expected, the Saints answered with a Tyler Robbins goal with 9:28 left before half to draw the teams even.
Metea Valley (9-7-3) then shocked the Saints with a penalty kick from Chris Freeman with 27:32 left in the contest. Goalkeeper Chris Lucatorto had no chance against Freeman's shot that found the left corner of the net.
The Mustangs weren't finished as they added an insurance goal as the Saints continued to press the Metea Valley defense with shot attempts. That goal came with 11:41 left when Freeman sent a pass to Rowsey who smacked it in for a 3-1 lead.
"I can't say enough about out defenders. They stepped up so much, especially the seniors and played so well," Rowsey said. "We won our individual battles, kept them in front of us and we got behind the ball. That's all we ask for and then we countered on them and it worked."
Rowsey will certainly never forget this game and the win is one of the biggest in program history. Meanwhile, the Saints are grateful their first loss came during the regular season. They're hopeful to go undefeated in the postseason.
"I would like to think this is the best thing that could happen to our team this year," Jennison said. "We're going to be all right. I definitely would like to hope this happened for a reason. We're still the same group of guys that won 17 games."