Hat's off to Catalano, Lake Park
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Mike Catalano has had plenty of highlight-worthy moments this season for Lake Park.
On Thursday he helped coin a new term, "The Sombrero Trick," as he led the Lancers to a 4-0 victory over host Fenton at Redmond Park in Bensenville.
While scoring three or more goals is traditionally referred to as a hat trick, Catalano's first three-goal effort of the year is going to result in a free burrito, compliments of his goalkeeper, Steven Mack. Hence, it's reference as "The Sombrero Trick."
"Before the season I made a bet with Steve that if I scored a hat trick, he'd have to buy me a burrito," Catalano said. "I've come close with six 2-goal games but didn't get three until tonight. Hopefully, I get that burrito this weekend."
Lake Park (15-2-3) has more than burritos on its mind, though, as it heads into the postseason next week. After winning the DuPage Valley Conference — arguably the best soccer conference in the state — expectations are high for the Lancers to make a deep state series run.
"The guys know they can't lose their edge and we need games on turf because that's where we'll be beginning on Tuesday at Conant," Lake Park coach Tony Passi said. "Tonight, I thought we played very well. The ball was quick tonight, especially with the moisture, but the guys did a nice job getting used to it."
Fenton kept things scoreless for the majority of the first half before it left Kris Lopez too open he took a pass from Catalano and buried a liner into the net with 13:25 before halftime.
"That goal was a statement we needed to make," Lopez said. "Mike made a good pass and I had plenty of time and I needed to step up."
Catalano didn't begin his trek toward Burritoville until he put the Lancers ahead 2-0 with 4:54 left in the first half. He added his second goal less than five minutes into the second half, which pretty much wrapped up the match. His final goal came with 29:21 left and he exited for the night with about 10 minutes remaining, as the Lancers utilized their entire roster.
"We love playing the game and know the playoffs are next week, and our seniors know the end of high school is coming, so everything's big time," Catalano said. "We just wanted to stay focused and keep elevating our game."
While the Bison weren't able to keep pace, the game proved to be another good learning experience for a team that could still make some noise in the Class 2A playoffs.
"I thought this gave our kids a reality check because you have to play a top team like this," Fenton coach Dave Alvarez said. "They're a very good team, and one of the top teams we've seen, and I told the boys that if you want attention and accolades you have to play at that level."
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