Boys soccer: Vernon Hills falls to Deerfield
Trying to finish has been an issue for Vernon Hills' boys soccer team this season.
The Cougars had their chances but gave up an early goal and lost to visiting Deerfield 1-0 in a Central Suburban League north opener in Vernon Hills on Thursday night.
"Honestly, I thought we were the better team again," Vernon Hills coach Mike McCaulou said. "We had more possession with the ball, the shape was better, but we struggled in the final third. We've struggled in the final third all year. I think it's the youth, it's the inexperience, but this time of the season halfway through, you have to get players that want it a little bit more. We have great kids and we're not disappointed at all with the effort."
Deerfield goalkeeper Josh Berman was one of the reasons the Warriors won, with his efforts in goal making 11 stops and a Warriors defense that wouldn't let up all match long.
The goal that made the difference was scored 21 seconds into the match with high pressure by Deerfield (2-8-1, 1-1) that caused some chaos in the back of the defense for Vernon Hills (3-6-1, 0-1).
"Sometimes with our style of soccer you can make mistakes in the back," McCaulou said. "Maybe it was a bad distribution or a bad touch. That was us and it had nothing to do with (Deerfield). It was a mistake on us and they capitalized on us. You have to give them credit."
Adam Shore applied the pressure for the Warriors near the goal and then the ball ended up on the foot of teammate Ari Wainer, who scored his second goal this season.
"We just high pressed from the start," Wainer said. "(Vernon Hills) wasn't ready for it and Adam (Shore) started it and the ball came to me. I was able to get the ball into the back of the net. It was nice, especially with the result we ended up with."
Cougars' keeper Keyen Martinez made 8 stops of his own that included a diving stop to his left and he got a hand on a penalty kick in the final couple of minutes.
Deerfield had issues coming into the match trying to find victories lately, but the Warriors have been in a number of them.
"(Vernon Hills) was a tough team to defend," Deerfield coach Elliott Hurtig said, "because they have the ability to push the ball from side to side, and their goalkeeper made an amazing save on the PK. We just showed a lot of grit and determination with the way we played."