Boys soccer: Warren downs Buffalo Grove to reach sectional final
No. 6 seed Warren is through to its first boys soccer sectional final since 2012 after a night of great drama in Libertyville ended with the Blue Devils coming back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat No. 7 Buffalo Grove 4-2 in the second semifinal contest of the night.
Next up for coach Jason Ahonen's team will be Fremd on Friday at 5:30 p.m. after the Vikings stunned North Suburban Conference champ and two-time Class 3A state runner-up Libertyville in penalty kicks.
"We got off to a little bit of a slow start giving up that early goal then falling behind two goals, but we knew if we played our game and style and just settled into the game, we would be just fine in the end," said Ahonen.
Buffalo Grove got itself off to the perfect start when Ryan Kim steered in the opener in the 6th minute, then later saw sophomore Charlie Mancilla score his second consecutive free kick in the postseason in the 36th minute.
Warren grabbed back the momentum of the Mancilla strike when Josh Segura smashed home his 24-yard effort just before the break.
"We tried to clear the area and the ball hit the referee and that gave (Warren) their chance, and that goal seemed to give them just what they needed heading into the half," said Bison coach Darren Llewellyn.
The 44th minute brought the equalizer from Ishaan Shah, whose one-timer from just inside the edge unsettled the Bison, who would soon lose one of the best in the Mid-Suburban League in Alex Berk to an injury.
The senior would later return but during his absence the Blue Devils went ahead for good when Nolan Ehlers unloaded an unstoppable cracker that found its way just inside the near post in the 71st minute.
Warren would complete its glorious comeback on an Alex Senko finish one minute from time.
"This is a terrific night for Warren soccer, and one that is great for our team, program and alumni, which helped paved the way for this result after things have been a little dry around here for a couple of years," said a proud Ahonen.
"It's tough giving up a 2-0 lead, but sometime, that's the way this sport goes," said Llewellyn.