Boys soccer: Set pieces key to Geneva's win over South Elgin
Geneva's offense had to go to plan B Thursday night in its nonconference match with South Elgin.
Unable to successfully finish its attacks, the Vikings turned to set pieces.
The strategy work as Geneva scored on plays that began as a throw-in and a corner kick to blank the host Storm 2-0. It was the Vikings' third clean sheet in a row.
"The final product wasn't a sharp as we hoped for," said Geneva coach Jason Bhatta. "Sometimes in a game like this, when you are not as sharp on attacking and you don't get the final product that you want, then you can rely on set play goals and we did."
The Vikings' first goal came with 4:38 left in the first half. Jaden Ahern's throw-in from 15 yards out toward the goal was headed in by Alex Joubran.
Mark Migliazzo scored the insurance goal in the 73rd minute on a play that started with Shun Yonehara's corner kick. Geneva (7-3-1) was unsuccessful in finishing that attempt, but South Elgin (3-5-3) was unable to clear the ball with Migliazzo intercepting it. The senior found the back of the net on a 30-yard boot.
"I was just lucky. The ball came to me and I thought I would just shoot it because we were at 1-0," said Migliazzo.
"Sometimes we can rely on set plays with the players we have, and when we are not playing as sharp as we like to," Bhatta said. "So, so it's good to have those in our back pocket."
Geneva's tenacious defense and Cal Parise's six saves keep the Storm off the score board.
"This is the third game in a row where we had a shutout and that speaks to our back line," Bhatta said.
"We are still trying to find our niche. We are giving up early fluky goals that shouldn't be going in. So we are constantly playing up hill," said South Elgin's first-year coach, Jerzy Skowron.
"A lot if it is learning to play a new system and playing defense the way my assistant and I would like them to."
South Elgin's best scoring opportunity came at the 12th minute. Parise came out to the edge of the penalty box to scoop up a South Elgin shot. The ball got past him and the Storm's Elijah corralled it. His shot on the empty net went wide.