Boys soccer: Fremd takes down Waukegan
No. 5 seed Fremd would reach its own boys soccer regional final following its 2-0 victory over an impressive club from Waukegan Tuesday night in Palatine at Hildebrant Field.
Jake Scesniak, whom Vikings' head coach Steve Keller called the 'Man of the Match', inspired an impressive second half of soccer over the Bulldogs (9-12-2), who were a far better side than the No. 12 seed they were given.
"We knew coming into this game that (Waukegan) was very technical, quick and could attack, and we had trouble with them in the first half but once we scored that first goal, everything turned around for us," said Scesniak.
The Bulldogs used slick touch and movement to keep the Vikings' stingy back line on edge, much of this coming from Adrian Moreno, Eric Rosales and Jose Ochoa, who brought the Waukegan attack to life from the start, where it nearly scored.
"Artur (Cholewa) was very good tonight, and likely kept them from scoring one for sure, and maybe another in the first half," said Steve Keller of his junior keeper.
Cholewa came to the rescue for the home side when he turned away a point-blank effort from Ochoa two minutes into the contest before going about his usual fine direction and signal calling from his spot between the sticks.
Scesniak, who all throughout the night delivered one inch-perfect serve after another that tested the Bulldogs' defense, while nearly putting one of his teammates in on goal, scored the opener just seconds before the hour.
That's when Kaelan took one step before sending his superb cross field serve from 35 yards to the back post where Scesniak, on the tail-end of his run, steered in what would be the eventual game-winner.
Playing now with more urgency, the Bulldogs pushed numbers forward but in doing so allowed Scesniak to pry them open on the outside with yet another fantastic serve, this one to Dorian Lesiuk who brought the early ball under control before finishing into the far left corner.
The 66th minute goal all but ended the dreams of the upset-minded Bulldogs, who went close with two shots on frame, the second from a well struck free kick by Rosales one minute from time.
"That was a very good team we played tonight, so we had to be at our best to get past them," said Lesiuk, now with a team-high 13 goals on the season.
"There's no way that was a No. 14 seeded team so this was a game that could have gone either way if we didn't play as well as we did in the second half, but we'll have to clean some things up for Saturday's final if we hope to compete with Wheeling," added Keller.
"The Vikings (12-5-1) beat their MSL rivals earlier in the season 1-0 yet were given the No. 6 seed, two spots below the Wildcats, which will enter the regional final with a 13-4-1 overall record.