Boys soccer: Waubonsie Valley gets on the move to get winning goal
The play that led to the game-winning goal is one Waubonsie Valley has been discussing for a while.
Putting it into action has taken a little time to get ingrained in the Warriors, however.
The quick free kick caught Neuqua Valley looking for service into the penalty area.
"If we see a hole we like to try to capitalize on that. We saw it, and I thought it was pretty obvious," Waubonsie Valley coach Jose Garcia said.
Fortunately for the Warriors, senior forward Noah Glorioso and junior left back Javi Gonzalez noticed it about the same time Garcia, nearby on the sideline, started urging them to play it quickly.
Gonzalez slid the ball ahead of Glorioso as Glorioso started running straight to the end line. Glorioso took a touch toward the goal, lined up the shot with his right foot and fired.
On a night when quality scoring chances were hard to come by for both teams, Glorioso's sixth goal of the season stood up for a 1-0 Waubonsie Valley victory in DuPage Valley Conference play. It came in the 57th minute.
"We've had this free-kick thing, we've tried it a few times," Glorioso said. "A guy even called offside a few times just because we're so quick on the near side getting through. But today it worked perfect, got in, pretty much got through and buried it.
"I got the ball, and I kind of just ran off, looked up before I got the ball. I saw the goalie in open space and pretty much took it in and just buried it."
As the first goal so often does, this one changed the game.
"It took a little pressure off of us," Garcia said. "You could tell it was a little bit of back and forth, both teams were going back and forth. I think it could have been anyone's game, ended up 0-0, but we got the one goal."
Neuqua Valley coach Arnoldo Gonzalez noticed a difference also.
"Especially after the goal it just seemed like we were forcing things, not really making them happen," he said.
The long grass on Waubonsie Valley's home field also had an impact.
"Obviously the field does not lend itself," Gonzalez said. "A lot of balls were not really making it to their destination. We were trying to hit corners, but those balls were just lost in translation. But we got desperate after that ball, and rightfully so. I mean, they score on a set piece where it's been our problem all season long where with set pieces we're not awake, we're not on our marks and that's all it takes. It just takes one."
After an evenly played first half the Warriors (5-3-1, 1-1) started seeing an advantage in possession and shots on the Wildcats (2-4-1, 0-2).
"It's a mix of the field, and both teams are decent and just us trying to get through," Glorioso said. "Balls aren't getting played through. They're stopping. Shots are like getting chipped up because of how high the grass is. But you just have to get used to it and start finishing."