Boys soccer: Wauconda scores late to tie Woodstock
Wauconda's boys soccer team never let up on Senior Night.
Persistence paid off for the Bulldogs, who scored in the final 10 minutes to earn a 1-1 tie with visiting Woodstock in nonconference action Thursday night. Ulysses Ruiz scored the equalizer, and center back Juan Flores preserved the draw with a sweeping tackle on a breakaway.
"We play in an attacking style," Wauconda coach Tim Miller said. "We had about seven or eight chances in the first half. We were hitting the ball right at the keeper and not making him work for saves. When we can attack on the flank and send the ball centrally, we can get great scoring chances."
Woodstock (16-5-1) is one of the top teams in the Kishwaukee River Valley Conference. The Blue Streaks received the No. 2 seed in their subsectional of the Class 2A tournament.
"This was a good game before the playoffs," Miller said. "It was a high-quality opponent. They're playing well and doing well in their conference. It's a good warmup for Streamwood next week. We're doing the right things before we get into the playoffs."
After a scoreless opening half, Woodstock scored in the 44th minute. Oscar Escorza pushed a ball into the box, Caleb Warmbier made a run and scored to the back post.
Wauconda (6-4-3) created chances in the second half, only to see saves made, balls kicked off the line or blocked. Blue Streaks keeper Stephan Turskey stopped eight shots.
Finally for Wauconda, off a corner kick in the 77th minute, Ruiz broke free and finished a loose ball for his fourth goal of the season.
"It just came right to me, I hit the center of the ball and sent it right in," said Ruiz, a junior. "I was on the top of the 18. I just ran in there once they headed the ball and it was deflected."
With just over a minute left, Woodstock made a counter attack and had a breakaway opportunity. But Flores, a senior, stayed in front of the attacker and made a sweeping tackle to knock the ball away.
"It was mostly fear, but you have to embrace it," said Flores, smiling. "It was 1 v. 1. You try to get a clean tackle on him. Honestly, I didn't think I would get it. When he made the move, the next thing on my mind was the slide tackle."