After going 0-3-1 in its last 4 games the Larkin boys soccer team was hoping to regain some momentum on Thursday night heading into the postseason.
Instead the Royals gave up a late goal and had to settle with a 1-1 tie in their regular-season finale after dominating visiting Bartlett much of the way on Senior night at Memorial Field. Larkin has the next 12 days off before opening regional play at Huntley.
"We have been in kind of lull lately, so it would have been nice to get a win tonight," Larkin coach Ken Hall said. "We have just been inconsistent when it comes to closing out games. After we scored our goal we kind of flipped the switch off and they turned theirs on."
The Royals (11-7-3) had an 8-1 shot advantage in the first half, but couldn't cash in. Then they had the first four scoring opportunities in the second half before Aleksander Zdravkovic found the back of the net with 29:08 to play. On the play the Bartlett goalkeeper was hesitant to come out for the ball on a long and Zdravkovic was able to take advantage and get to the ball first and score.
"We did a good job of controlling the ball most of the way," Hall said. "We were making good quick penetrating passes. But there is no doubt we obviously didn't take advantage of some other good scoring opportunities. We had been doing a good job of moving the ball forward until the goal, and then we kind of stop doing that."
Bartlett (3-8-1) tied the score at 1-1 with 10:23 left to play on a goal by Matt Tobin.
"We made a change late to put three guys up front and that paid off well," Bartlett coach Victor Marquez said. "It widened the field for us with our wings further out and opened some space. We almost got enough momentum going there at the end that we could have pulled out a win. But if we can't win at least we don't lose."
It was Tobin's first goal of the season.
"When we switched formations by pushing our wings up it allowed us to go more into attack mode," Tobin said. "We were able to get behind the line of the ball more. On my goal I was able to find an open space in front and Rudy (Reyes) had the ball in the corner with three defenders on him, but he is amazing with the ball and was able to get me a nice pass for an easy tap in."