Boys soccer: Batavia rallies to tie Geneva
Even in a truncated season, it has been trying times for the Batavia boys soccer team.
"Senior year," Batavia's Riley Miller, a normal center back, said. "Definitely haven't had the results we wanted. But we're just happy to be out here, building bonds."
Batavia dodged the ignominy of a winless season with its win over Wheaton Warrenville South on Tuesday, and the Bulldogs were back in DuPage Valley Conference action against archrival Geneva on Thursday evening.
Miller was instrumental in the Bulldogs' forging a 1-1 draw in Geneva.
Nearly midway through the second half, the Bulldogs' junior captain, Ryan Kahley, lined up for a corner kick from the left side.
Kahley did not disappoint.
The Bulldogs' forward rifled a perfect cross to Miller, who finished with a picture-perfect header to score his first goal of the season.
"I rushed in, and (Kahley) whipped in a perfect ball to the right post," Miller said. "I just got a flick on it, and it found the back corner."
Geneva (6-2-6) had the finest scoring opportunities the rest of way, but Batavia keeper Logan Saenz withstood every challenge to give the Bulldogs' a much-needed league point.
"We've had a lot of ties," Geneva coach Jason Bhatti said.
Trent Giansanti knows what it is like to be a lifelong golfer, hit a wonderful shot and only watch in disbelief when the ensuing putt fails to find the mark.
In the first half, the Geneva forward was seemingly assured of ending the scoreless draw when he completely compromised the Batavia defense.
But his point-blank shot sailed wide left.
"In my head, I just assumed I was going to score," Giansanti explained. "I was just thinking, 'Goal, goal, goal.' I didn't get my foot right on the ball."
But Giansanti did not wait long for his redemption.
Thirty-three seconds later, however, Giansanti registered his fifth goal of the shortened season with a majestic rocket from the left side from close to 20 yards out.
"I saw a spot in the net," Giansanti said. "I just took my chance, and it worked."
Geneva was poised to double its advantage, only to have Miller make the first of his two match-altering plays.
Miller blocked a sure goal with his lower legs at the goalmouth when Saenz was out of position minutes later.
"There was a similar play in our last game when we played against Wheaton Warrenville South when I cleared the ball off the goal line," Miller said. "It was a key moment, and I made sure I was there."