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updated: 10/26/2013 6:24 PM

Waubonsie blanks Batavia for regional title

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By Chris Walker
Daily Herald Correspondent

Seniors Casey Bucz, Michael Miller and Jordan Ward wanted to make history during Saturday afternoon's Class 3A Waubonsie Valley regional championship.

So they did so.

Thanks to a pair of goals from Bucz and Miller, along with the steady play of the midfielders and defenders in front of Ward in goal, the Warriors blanked Batavia 4-0 to advance to Tuesday's Metea Valley sectional semifinal against Naperville North.

For now though, the Warriors are going to enjoy their regional title, as it's the first for the soccer program since 2005.

"Our goal all year has been to put up a plaque so now we'll get to do that," Miller said. "It's nice to finally get one, and we're not done yet. We're going to come out next week still and hopefully keep going and keep advancing."

Bucz got the Warriors going in the 13th minute thanks to a feed from another senior, John Chapman.

Miller then capitalized on the momentum, taking advantage of a great opportunity that unfolded in the 16th minute.

"That was all Casey and Robert (Ohse)," Miller said. "I was just at the right place at the right time and coach (Angela DiBernardo) always says to get in on the goalie, and I was pretty close to him and he couldn't get two hands on the ball and I just kicked it in."

Miller would later drop back on a pass from Bucz and blast it past Batavia keeper Nick Foster with 5:07 left before halftime to make it a 3-0 contest.

"3-0 at half and with the wind in our favor we had to take advantage of that and we did," DiBernardo said. "Then at halftime we wanted to make sure to keep the score at zero for them."

Batavia (16-4-2) had more than its fair share of chances, both before the Warriors built a comfortable first half lead and throughout the second half, but just weren't able to deliver.

Strangely, half of Batavia's losses came to Waubonsie Valley (1-0 on Oct. 8).

"I thought that even before they scored that we had the better run of play," Batavia coach Mark Gianfrancesco said. "They finished and we didn't. We had our chances, but they just didn't end up going into the basket for us today."

Waubonsie Valley (9-7-2) knows its next opponent well, as it dropped a 1-0 decision to Naperville North on Sept. 14.

"Getting to know each other during the season helps you prepare for them," Gianfrancesco said. "For regionals, sectional or whatever."

It proved to be the final match for 11 Batavia seniors, a group whose 16 wins were one more than the 15 achieved by the 2011 team that won a regional title at Waubonsie Valley.

"We took a lot of lumps last year but they showed a lot of heart," Gianfrancesco said. "They did a nice job and accomplished some things they'd never done before."

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