Boys soccer: St. Patrick blanks Prospect
Visiting St. Patrick turned on the style Wednesday night in Mount Prospect, showing why it will be one of the teams to watch during the 2019 boys soccer season.
The Shamrocks (2-0-0) struck for 2 late first-half goals, then added 2 more after the break on their way to a 5-0 victory over host Prospect (1-1-0) at George Gattas Memorial Stadium.
Four different players scored for coach Kyle McClure's club which two years ago finished fourth at the Class 2A state tourney, then last year fell one victory short of advancing into the 3A state finals -- losing 2-1 to eventual state runner-up Libertyville in its sectional final.
"That was a much better effort from the guys compared to our 4-1 win over Eisenhower (Tuesday) night but let me tell you, Prospect is a very good team and one that is going to win a lot of games this fall," said McClure, now in his sixth year as Shamrocks' head coach.
"St. Patrick is the real deal, but for 35 minutes we played them even, and that's something positive we'll take from tonight's game," offered Prospect coach Mike Andrews.
"We knew they would be tough opponent -- that's one of the reasons we put them on our schedule -- but this is the kind of test we wanted to have early on in order to see where we're at."
Prospect opened its season with a 4-2 away win over Deerfield on Monday, with senior Bryan Morrison scoring the first and last goals for the Knights.
"St. Pat's is a really good team, and on the outside it might look like we were never in the game because of the 5-0 result, but there is a lot for us to build on from this game and I know all of us feel the same way that I do," said Morrison.
The Shamrocks were up 1-0 inside 15 minutes when Adam Przytula went high in the air to meet a well struck corner from Jonathan Rodriguez corner the back of the net.
After getting its feet under them following the Przytula opener, the home side began to attack with purpose through Declan Flanagan, Aëdon Wesselink and Morrison, while staying organized in its own end to keep the technically skilled Shamrock attack under wraps.
However, the Knights would let their guard down on two occasions as the intermission drew near -- leading to Przytula's PK conversion, followed by an Aaron Moreno-Lopez finish at 40 minutes.
"Those two late goals were tough ones to concede. They always are. But a team like that is hard to hold down, and it went from 1-0, to 3-0 very quickly," said Andrews.
The Shamrocks' terrific junior, Joshua Torres, produced a majestic strike to make it 4-0 in the 57th minute, using the art of deception with and without the ball to strike from a difficult angle.
Minutes before, Wesselink missed a chance to pull one back in a 1 v 1 situation with Pat's keeper Jorge Cebrero and that coupled with the Torres goal, and one more by the visitors in the 58th minute, dashed the hopes of the Knights.
Cebrero's acrobatic save on Krystian Potapa helped the junior earn the shutout.
"We're a good team, and we played a very good team even for 50 minutes tonight, so we'll take that and move on from here knowing we can play with teams at that level," said Knights senior Jonny Keane.
Prospect will host Glenbrook South this Saturday at 11 a.m.