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updated: 9/3/2014 10:53 PM

Furlong's big finish helps Antioch top Grayslake C.

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By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

Thomas Furlong dove head long -- and connected.

Antioch's senior midfielder scored with an off-balance diving header for the game-winning goal Wednesday, lifting the host Sequoits to a 3-2 nonconference win over previously unbeaten Grayslake Central.

A happy Furlong lay on his back afterward, his hands held high in celebration.

Furlong had positioned himself in front of the goal and was on the receiving end of free kick off the leg of Iven Hernandez in the 71st minute that broke a 2-2 tie.

"Iven takes our corner kicks and free kicks," said Furlong, whose goal was his first of the season. "He's very good at placing the ball where it needs to be. It was just a matter of following it. I caught the ball off the side of the head and (the ball) went into the far corner."

Antioch, which played in a Class 2A supersectional last year, improved to 2-0. The Sequoits jumped out with a 2-0 lead but saw Grayslake Central (5-1) rally back to tie the score at 2-2.

"We have done that a lot in the last couple of years with this group," Antioch coach Marni Polakow said. "The good news is that we fought back. We looked very lethargic and tired. I don't know why, because we've only played one game. We got tired and it's no excuse. We were good enough to not play our best, to play tired and play soft. We were able to squeak it out. Grayslake Central was a great team and we'll probably see them again."

Hernandez, who earned all-state honors as a junior after a 32-goal campaign, scored in the 12th minute, giving him 2 goals and 2 assists in two games. He beat a couple of defenders and calmly put the ball inside the near post off an assist by Logan Bouker.

The Antioch lead increased to 2-0 in the 26th minute, when Bouker found the back of the net off Lucas Semitka's free kick.

What looked to be a runaway for the Sequoits changed about the 30-minute mark. The Rams started to play a different style, attacking the Sequoits.

Grayslake Central cut its deficit in half in the 36th minute, as Isaac Longenecker scored on a rebound in front of the goal.

The Rams then drew even in the 55th minute. Joey Mudd took a service, beat the defense and kicked a shot past Antioch keeper Danny Miller from the top of the box.

"It's the second year in a row that we fought back against them," said Grayslake Central coach Steve Feldman, whose team last year lost two of its three games to Antioch. "Antioch is a good team. They're strong and they're physical. I have a bunch of young kids in back. Hopefully, this was a learning lesson for them. I thought the first half we struggled a little bit, but then the second part of the first half we played some really good soccer. We just have to work on finishing and being big."

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