Boys soccer: Kaneland's halftime lead slips away

  • DeKalb senior Isaak Cordova tries to keep the ball from Kaneland senior Evan Smith during their match Thursday night at DeKalb High School.

    DeKalb senior Isaak Cordova tries to keep the ball from Kaneland senior Evan Smith during their match Thursday night at DeKalb High School. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

  • Kaneland senior Evan Smith slides in an attempt to steal the ball from DeKalb senior Julian Garcia during their match Thursday night at DeKalb High School.

    Kaneland senior Evan Smith slides in an attempt to steal the ball from DeKalb senior Julian Garcia during their match Thursday night at DeKalb High School. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

  • DeKalb senior Ilir Redzepi and Kaneland junior Nicholas Mitchinson go after the ball during their match Thursday night at DeKalb High School.

    DeKalb senior Ilir Redzepi and Kaneland junior Nicholas Mitchinson go after the ball during their match Thursday night at DeKalb High School. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

  • Kaneland junior Nicholas Mitchinson heads the ball over DeKalb senior Ilir Redzepi during their match Thursday night at DeKalb High School.

    Kaneland junior Nicholas Mitchinson heads the ball over DeKalb senior Ilir Redzepi during their match Thursday night at DeKalb High School. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

  • DeKalb freshman Carlos Lopez and Kaneland junior William Sand fight for possession during their match Thursday night at DeKalb High School.

    DeKalb freshman Carlos Lopez and Kaneland junior William Sand fight for possession during their match Thursday night at DeKalb High School. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

 
 
Updated 3/25/2021 9:55 PM

For the second game in a row, the DeKalb boys soccer team completed a second-half comeback and knocked off Kaneland, 3-1, on Thursday.

While the comebacks have been nice, coach PJ Hamilton said, he said that he'd rather the Barbs not fall behind at all. They may not be able to come back when play in the DuPage Valley Conference resumes.

 

"It's not something we ever want to do," Hamilton said. "Some of our conference opponents are going to punish us if we continue to go down. I'm glad we have the fight and the grit to battle back, but that's not a characteristic to have, get down and fighting back. I'm proud of the boys for getting back into it, but we want to work on putting 80-minute matches together."

It took the Barbs (4-2-1) 57 minutes to score their first goal, when Julian Garcia came up the left side on a feed from Alex Chavez.

Chavez followed with a goal off a rebound from a free kick in the 74th minute, giving the Barbs the lead against the Knights (4-2) for the first time.

Garcia added an insurance goal in the 76th minute.

"The goalie punched it out, I hit it with my left foot, and the rest is history," Garcia said. "I saw they were flat-footed, and I just hit it in."

Kaneland coach Scott Parillo said his team hasn't played many full games this season -- the mercy rule has been implemented in all three Interstate 8 matches so far.

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"It didn't seem like there was any sense of urgency or anything like that," Parillo said. "If they got a free kick, we got to stay with our marks all the way through the play. We can't stop and expect they're going to stop as well."

With games against Morris and then Sycamore coming up, he called Thursday's loss a learning experience.

"I thought we played decent," Parillo said. "I thought the last 10 minutes we did not finish. We didn't finish the game. Our last few games, we're not playing 80 minutes. We're playing 60 minutes. So this is exactly what we needed. Whether it was going to be a win, a loss or a draw, this is what we needed to get ourselves back together, and it's not always going to be a 14-0 game."

Kaneland took the lead in the 39th minute, when Evan Smith connected on a penalty kick after Nick Mitchinson was fouled in the box.

It was the second game in a row DeKalb trailed, 1-0, and the second one the Barbs came back to win after beating Dundee-Crown, 2-1, last week.

But like Hamilton, Garcia said it's a bad habit to get into.

"It just says that first half we have to come out stronger," Garica said. "If we go behind a goal, we always step it up. But it should be like that the whole 80 minutes."

For Garcia, it was his first full game back from an injury. He played sparingly in the win against Dundee-Crown.

"The healthier he is, the more dangerous he gets," Hamilton said. "The kid is a phenomenal ballplayer and I couldn't be happier to watch him build some confidence."

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