Boys soccer: St. Viator notches shutout win over Notre Dame
It's still early for St. Viator, but the Lions' boys soccer team is making the most of a tough stretch.
St. Viator rebounded quite nicely Wednesday, dropping East Suburban Catholic Conference foe Notre Dame 1-0 in Niles. It was the second game in as many night for the Lions (4-4-1), who will play their third night in a row on Thursday when they meet St. Edward.
"We came back tonight and played well," said St. Viator coach Mike Taylor, whose team lost Tuesday to Streamwood 2-1 in penalty kicks in the PepsiCo Challenge. "We put away two or three chances and it is not a game. I am pleased with the boys. They came up strong in the middle of a tough stretch."
The Lions also play a game on Saturday giving them four games in five days. Taylor says that this stretch will make his team stronger.
"This is a good thing for them," Taylor said. "They will get a lot of touches this week which is good because they don't play for another week after that."
Viator was forced play without one of its top center backs when Sebastian Howarth was red-carded on Tuesday.
Despite that, Viator pressed the play throughout the game. The Lions came out strong and their efforts were rewarded in the 6th minute when Liam Smith hit the back of the net off a nice cross pass from David Stahl.
It was just a good team play," Smith said. "We just took it from one side of the field to the other. I got a perfect cross from David Stahl in the middle of the box. I was just there and put it in."
The Lions had plenty of opportunities to increase their lead. Notre Dame keeper Jeremy Spina turned away 8 shots after that. St. Viator also had a pair of goals negated by offside calls as well as at least four excellent scoring opportunities that were also called offside.
"The kids are anxious to go forward," Taylor said. Even without the one-man advantage we took total control of the game. I don't think they had a great shot at the goal."
That's because, according to Viator keeper Matt Marhiori, his defense kept Notre Dame (5-2-2, 1-1) away from the net.
Quinten Parry, Riley DiMarco, Christian Evans and Matt Olekasak kept the Dons at bay for most of the evening.
"I really have to give it to my back line," said Marhiori, who made 4 saves in the first half and just one in the second half.
"They are a young back line who have come together. They are the ones who kept the ball out and I did just what I could to keep the ball out."
The win was also important for St. Viator, which is trying to remain on pace with Benet and defending ESCC champion St. Patrick. The Lions will meet those teams later in the season but until then, it will be a long physical week for the Lions.
"It is tiring playing back-to-back," Smith said. We have had a couple games like that back-to-back. We just have to keep icing ourselves, stay loose and keep the liquids flowing."