Boys soccer: St. Charles East, Geneva battle to 2-2 deadlock
Soccer has been something special in the Tri-Cities area for quite some time now and St. Charles East and Geneva did not disappoint during Thursday night's matchup between the top two teams in the DuKane Conference.
The Saints led for almost 13 minutes while Geneva's lead lasted less than a minute as the teams ultimately settled for a 2-2 draw.
Geneva did win the traveling trophy, a statue of a Fox that is currently decorated with the school colors of St. Charles East. There initially was some confusion on who would receive it as the Saints held onto it first, but Geneva players were posing with pictures with it a short while later.
"Goals conceded was the tiebreaker and we had less goals allowed," Vikings coach Jason Bhatta said. "Maybe we'll postpone it and hopefully see them again in a sectional semifinal and then see who gets it."
St. Charles East (14-1-3, 4-0-1) struck first when Brendan Adams redirected a ball from Alex Mancera with 13:11 remaining in the first half.
It appeared as if the Saints would hang onto that advantage heading into halftime until Geneva's Josh Eiss found an opening and tied the game with 37 seconds left in the first half.
"Ethan (Hipp) can throw it crazy far and I was in a spot with nobody on me," Eiss said. "I saw ball defect off an East defender right to me, took a small touch with my left foot and pounded it in as simple as that."
Geneva (11-4-3, 4-1-1) took the lead amidst some controversy as Matt Fuller pounded on a ball deep in the box that the East sideline believed that its keeper Jack Settle had gained possession of before Fuller hammered it home.
"I saw the ball and just had to chase it down," Fuller said. "I was going to keep kicking that thing until the whistle blew."
The officials surprised Settle with their ruling. He believed that he had possession.
"I mean, they ruled that I didn't have possession of the ball, but why would I have the ball against my chest like this," Settle said. "It can't be kicked out of my hands."
Regardless if the call was correct or not, the Saints didn't fold because of it, but rather responded with the equalizer from Jacob Maslowski, who somehow gained possession on a ball from Mancera and was able to sneak in a shot amidst a crowd of players from both teams.
"You can't let the officials impact how you play," Saints coach Vince DiNuzzo said. "Whether it was a good or ball is neither here not there. How they responded is what I'm looking for and we've faced some adversity before."
While no one won this game, all players, coaches, fans and workers at Burgess Field left as winners as all proceeds from Tri-City Night will go the family of Kyle Nicely, the Batavia junior who passed away earlier this season.