Boys soccer: Iricanin's goal helps Maine South blank Deerfield
Stefan Iricanin helped Maine South get off to a perfect start to its 2021 boys soccer season with the Hawks' senior striking the eventual game-winner Thursday night in Park Ridge at Wilson Stadium.
Iricanin delivered exactly what the home side needed in the 31st minute with a sublime one-timer from in close to help the Hawks to a hard-fought 1-0 victory over visiting Deerfield.
"I think all of us were a little nervous for this first game of the season, but leading up to my goal and afterwards, I felt like we had a lot of the play, and even dominated at times to get ourselves a nice win to start the season," said Iricanin, who was named all-sectional following the 2021 spring season.
"After having our opener postponed the other night against Prospect because of the weather it felt good to finally get out there and play, and see what we have out there this season," said Hawks head coach Dan States before the first whistle.
States lost 13 players from his spring team which went 6-3-5 overall, including his all-state forward, John Cronnolly, both keepers, and three-fourths of the Hawks' back line.
Senior Ryan Downing returned along the back line and played a strong 80 minutes in front of keeper Christo Maheras while David Skorupa, who enjoyed an outstanding season a year ago in the middle of the park, is back as well, sharing the captain's armband along with Downiing, Iricanin, and Maheras.
Iricanin bagged his first goal of the campaign, thanks in part to some terrific work from Zach Malinsky and Stefan Zelenovic, driving his 10-yard blast past a diving Warriors keeper Ryan Toback, who was terrific all throughout the muggy night between the sticks.
His counterpart, Maheras, would thank the near post for its stop of a point-blank blast from junior Ryder Coleman then somehow found a way to get just enough of the return effort by Peter Straus off the rebound.
"The game was played with a lot of energy, and at a high pace, so I feel like we'll be ready for our busy tournament schedule coming up in St. Charles, beginning this Saturday against Wheaton Academy," said Iricanin.