Boys soccer: Maine South blanks Deerfield
Maine South looks to be on course to begin divisional play beginning next week following its strong effort in a 2-0 boys soccer victory over Deerfield Thursday night in Park RidgePark Ridge at Wilson Field.
Goals after the break by David Skorupa and John Cronnelly would highlight an impressive second half of a soccer to ensure the Hawks (5-0-1) staying unbeaten in advance of their CSL South opener next Tuesday against Niles West.
"That's when the real work begins," said Hawks' coach Dan States, whose club recorded its third shutout of the season, with keepers Drew Burgis and Tommy Prokos sharing the honor.
On a night when the temperature dipped below 40 degrees, with a constant rain and strong wind blowing for 80 minutes, the play between these two league rivals was surprisingly good.
The Warriors (2-3-2), missing four starter, and six players overall, did well with their makeshift starting lineup, leaning heavily on talented senior Nicholas Prus, whose teammates put the ball on his foot as often as possible in the first half.
However, the home side did well defending Prus, and the Warriors. Maine South enjoyed the advantage of the wind at their backs in the first half and would immediately take control of the contest after the intermission.
"(John) Cronnelly said at the half we had to come out and play with more intensity and just take the game to them and that's what we did," said Jackson Wambach, of Cronnelly, who wears the captain's armband for the Hawks, along with Cronnelly.
Skorupa would deliver the eventual game-winner in the 46th minute, unloading an unstoppable strike into the far inside netting.
The Skorupa goal was initiated by a long, windblown punt from Prokos, who came in for Burgis between the sticks for the Hawks.
Prokos' counterpart, Josh Berman, helped keep the Warriors in the game.
Two of Berman's best stops were against Andrew Mashni at 49 minutes, then near the hour when the senior punched a wicked attempt from Jack Winkler at the near post.
The Warriors' co-captain had no chance on the Cronnelly goal in the 68th minute when another long punt fell to Stefan Iricanin, whose redirected header set Cronnelly free in a 1v1 opportunity that he steered in with a sublime finish.