A valiant effort from Lake Zurich's boys soccer team fell short Wednesday night as the Bears fell in a shootout to No. 5 seed Lake Forest in a Class 3A regional semifinal at the west campus of Lake Forest.
After 100 minutes could not separate the two North Suburban Conference teams, the host Scouts (13-6-1) converted their first four spot kicks, while Lake Zurich finished just 2 to give coach Rob Parry's team a 4-2 advantage in kicks, and the 3-2 victory.
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Lake Forest will host Hersey in a regional final Saturday afternoon.
"PK's are a lousy way to decide a winner this time of the season," said Lake Zurich coach Mike Schmitz. "There isn't a coach around who likes it, and it's tough to see our guys, who played so well tonight, see their season end this way."
After a goal-less first half, the Bears trio of Ian Murray, Jacob Karbowski and Miguel Hernandez orchestrated the first goal of the match at 41 minutes. Hernandez, a senior, steered in a right-footed strike past Scouts keeper Jack Sentell.
The Scouts' response was immediate as John Moderwell drove a bending free kick around the wall and into the net just six minutes later. Another eight minutes later, the senior gave his club the advantage when he scored his 14th of the season.
The No. 12 seed Bears (6-10-4) eventually tied it back up on a PK conversion from Hernandez. Murray earned the opportunity by tricking his way into the box before being hauled down by a Scouts defender.
At 80 minutes, Hernandez was shown his second yellow card of the match, sending him off for good. That forced the Bears to play a man down for the next two 10-minute sesssions. A bit later, Moderwell also got his second yellow, making it 10-on-10 for the final seven minutes.
"It was too bad the two best players were on the bench for the shootout," said Parry. "I know it altered our PK order, but the guys we put in did a great job."
After a first-round miss by the Bears, Sentell turned around an attempt from Tim Burroughs, while the Scouts didn't miss a chance.
"We couldn't have played better tonight," Schmitz said, "and I am proud of everyone on this team for their effort."