Boys soccer: Historic night for Libertyville
This has been a storied boys soccer season for Libertyville. The Wildcats completed something they've never done before on Tuesday night -- an undefeated regular season, outscoring visiting Lake Forest Academy 4-2 in a nonconference match.
The Wildcats ended the regular season at 16-0 and went unbeaten in the North Suburban Conference, while the Caxys dropped to 7-6-2.
Michigan-bound Evan Rasmussen scored a pair of goals that raised his season total to 26. He also hit the 50-goal mark in his career and made it to 51. Mason Williams and Mickey Reilly had the other two Wildcats' goals.
"(Lake Forest Academy) was a good quality team and we made some mistakes," Libertyville coach Kevin Thunholm said. "We still have a lot of work to do, but we're healthy. Hats off to our guys; we played a pretty brutal schedule. The North Suburban Conference was a gauntlet this year. Every team that we've played this year, in my opinion, has taken us to another notch. It's exactly what we needed to move forward every game. We have to beat the best to be the best and that's our goal."
Next up for top-seeded Libertyville in the Barrington sectional will be hosting either Palatine or Lake Forest in the Libertyville regional semifinal next Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the Wildcats had a battle for a while trying to find the back of the net. However, that all changed in the 24th minute of the first half on an opportunistic play in front of the Caxys' goal. Jack VanDixhorn got a touch over to Williams, who headed the ball for a goal and a 1-0 lead.
Lake Forest Academy evened the score at 1-1 in the 34th minute. Rich Park hit a shot into the corner after taking a cross from Gonzo Sucar.
But, not more than 20 seconds later, Rasmussen made his presence known in the penalty area and was tripped up by a Caxys defender. Libertyville was awarded a penalty kick, which Rasmussen scored his 50th career goal on and put the Wildcats back on top at 2-1.
Reilly added another Libertyville goal in the 37th minute. After taking a pass from Tanner Kelly, he moved through a couple Caxys defenders and slotted the ball into the back of the net for a 3-1 advantage.
LFA got a goal back in the 43rd minute as Sergio Estrelles scored on a rebound in front of the goal.
However, Rasmussen added his second goal on a header from a Williams throw-in for the two-goal difference in the 59th minute.
"Most of my goals either come from crosses or set pieces, which all the other guys send in," Rasmussen said. "We've got so much heart together, we've been growing better and better all season. It's just amazing. We're definitely a unit together. All bound together and work for each other."