Boys soccer: Jacobs duo strikes again against Dundee-Crown
Jacobs midfielder Sam Rainer and forward Liam Armstrong sometimes connect on set pieces as if they have been doing it their whole lives, because, they have been.
The two friends grew up in the same neighborhood, often kicking the ball around together.
"We always practiced set pieces in the backyard," Armstrong said. "(Rainer) is always the one who wants to cross them in and I'm always the one who wants to get on the end of them.
"Today it worked exceptionally well, he put in some fantastic balls. I just did my job and tried to finish them."
Armstrong scored late in the first half, then again in the game's 77th minute to seal a 3-1 Golden Eagles' victory over Dundee-Crown Tuesday in a Fox Valley Conference boys soccer game at the D-C Bowl.
"Sam's a very technical kid, he knows where to put the ball, where to place it," Eagles coach Colin Brice said. "He has great vision, knows who to pick out, finds matchups, stuff like that. That's why he takes a lot of our set pieces on corner kicks and (free kicks) on the right side, because he's a lefty."
Armstrong sent a ball across the goal box in the 22nd minute that Ben Phillips touched for Jackson Godfrey to put away for a 1-0 lead. In the 38th minute, Rainer sent a corner kick from the right corner right to Armstrong, who headed it in.
Jacobs (8-0-1, 7-0 FVC) played strong defense in front of goalkeeper Manny Gonzalez.
"We played pretty well," Jacobs sweeper P.J. Hopkins said. "We just had to keep them in front and it worked out. Getting in front of shots in front of the (goal box) and on the free kicks. Our wall was doing pretty well."
The Chargers (4-4-2, 4-3) finally broke through in the 74th minute to make it 2-1. Jefferson Leon-Tellez drilled a free kick from 40 yards out that Gonzalez stopped, but Nicolas Pena was able to knock in the rebound.
"I looked at the clock, there was about 6 minutes left and we didn't panic," Armstrong said. "I knew we could stick it out. We had the mental toughness. Coach put me back in and said, 'Press their backline and do whatever you can.'
"We got that corner and I said, 'We need to score this.' Sam put in a great ball again and I just got on the end of it and luckily it hit the back of the net."
Chargers coach Rey Vargas liked the way they started the game by putting the pressure on Jacobs, but was disappointed they could not maintain that.
"We came out stronger in the second half than we finished in the first," Vargas said. "We had control of the game for a while and fizzled out. It's hard to score goals against teams who are organized and (Jacobs) holds pretty well. I give them props for that."
Brice appreciated his defense's effort.
"Dundee-Crown is a very technical team and I don't think their record shows how good of a team they are," Brice said. "Vargas has them playing extremely well. They like to possess the ball and go forward and our backline did a fantastic job holding it up."