Boys soccer: Addison Trail avoids trap at Downers Grove South
Traveling to Downers Grove South on Tuesday's night, Addison Trail was looking at a boys soccer game that on paper had all the makings of a trap game.
But scoring four times in a 10-minute span midway through the first half, the Blazers ensured that they weren't looking past a Mustangs team that's been up and down this season, defeating the Mustangs 5-2 in West Suburban Gold action.
Now, and rightfully so, the Blazers can turn their attention to Thursday's crucial match at Morton between the conference's lone undefeated teams.
"We usually don't play well here so yesterday our guys were very attentive in practice," Blazers coach Ryan Dini said. "We were able to scout them and take away some things they don't do well, and they're a team that always plays well with a great coach. It's been a while since we've won here."
Addison Trail (11-3-2, 4-0) has been off a little in recent weeks, but the Blazers seem to be back on track at the right time.
"Ever since the semifinal loss in the Pepsi (tournament) we haven't had the energy that we had today," Dini said. "Now we got that back and these guys wanted to set up a showdown against Morton."
Downers Grove South (6-9-1, 3-2) kept things close for the first 12 minutes, but things got out of hand shortly thereafter.
From the time that Anthony Hernandez sneaked in a goal just inside the far post in the 14th minute until he completed his hat trick with 17:41 still remaining in the first half, the Mustangs were down 4-0.
"The first goal gave us the energy we needed and we started pressing hard and we just went off from there," Hernandez said. "As soon as you score two goals you feel the moment right away and just want to keep going and attack and attack. They're not going to win the ball from us and that's how we go on from there."
Brian Flores, Mert Ahmed and Pablo Duran also scored for a Blazers team that has put up some crooked numbers this fall; this was the ninth time they've scored three or more goals in a game.
Whatever recent up and downs the Blazers have endured, they at least appeared to be gone on Tuesday.
"It's a part of the game and everybody has them," Blazers senior defender Martin Murillo said. "We just have to come out strong and tell the boys to always keep it up, never give up and to always hustle."
The Mustangs broke the shutout on a fantastic corner kicker from Jony Flores and a beautiful header finish from Kyle Fenner midway through the second half.
They added another goal with 7:27 left as junior defender James Rappel came off the bench to score with 7:27 remaining.
Now that a potential trap game has been avoided, the Blazers will look to upset Morton.
"We're confident and it's soccer so anything can happen," Dini said. "We're just excited for the opportunity and then we have Mt. Carmel on Saturday so two of the top three teams in the state back-to-back. We're looking forward to the challenge, especially with the playoffs coming up."