Wheeling edges Stevenson, advances to Titan championship
Wheeling's boys soccer team will be in the Titan Invitational championship again.
The Wildcats' Brayan Cervantes scored a goal and assisted on another, while Jose Mariscal and Dennis Gavrilla also had goals to help Wheeling held off Stevenson 3-to claim the top spot in their pool at Glenbrook South on Thursday afternoon in Glenview.
The Wildcats (5-0-1, 3-0) will meet on Mundelein (4-0-1, 3-0) in Saturday's 11 a.m. title game in attempt to win a third straight tournament title.
The Mustangs reached the final with 2-0 victory over Loyola Academy in the other pool on Thursday.
Wheeling managed to make a quick turnaround after trailing by a goal. The Wildcats scored 3 unanswered goals in an eight-minute span in the first half.
"It was making our attacking in the final third that made those goals happen," Wheeling coach Ed Uhrik said. "We've been able to come from behind like we did against Streamwood.
"Stevenson was a good team to go against. It's good to be in the final again."
Cervantes tied the game in the 14th minute with a move in front of the goal following a corner kick. Cervantes collected a rebound and redirected into the goal.
"I had a lane and just took it," said Cervantes, who has 2 goals and 5 assists already this season. "I knew that my teammates would make the pass and take a solid shot."
About six minutes later, Mariscal broke away from his defender and had a run towards the Patriots goal. Keeper Jeremy Klaber made the initial breakaway save, but Mariscal had a second chance to make it 2-1 in the 20th minute.
Finally, Cervantes set up a pass from the end line and hooked up with Gavrilla up top. He brought the ball down, took a couple of touches and netted the goal for a 3-1 lead in the 21st minute.
"We train for those passes in practice," Cervantes added. "I saw him make a move inside and made a good pass to him."
Stevenson (3-1, 2-1) closed the gap to 3-2 during the second half, as Jun Min scored on a penalty kick that was awarded for a hand-ball in the penalty area in the 48th minute. But the Patriots couldn't find another the rest of the way.
Dennis Katsman scored the other Patriots early, after a defensive mistake in the back by the Wildcats.
Stevenson saw some positives despite the outcome.
"I thought we outplayed them and had a lot of the possession," Stevenson coach Mark Schartner said. "(Wheeling) does have three really good athletic kids up front, and they hit the ball long every time.
"Our new system that we're playing might take some time. Being down (3-1), we were able to stay in it. It's a nice style of soccer and new to everybody."
Stevenson will play host Glenbrook South for third place at 9 a.m. Saturday.