Boys soccer: Warren takes down Stevenson for NSC tourney crown
Going the distance was all you could ask for from an outstanding boys soccer team like the Warren Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils went unbeaten in the North Suburban Conference and followed it up with three straight victories in the NSC tournament, as the top-seeded Devils downed No. 2 seed Stevenson 5-2 in the final on Saturday night in Lincolnshire.
Ishaan Shah notched a hat trick and an assist, Noe Martinez added a pair of goals and Sebastian Rodriguez had a couple of assists for the Blue Devils.
Warren accomplished the feat of going 15-0 for the spring past season.
"It was perfection," Warren coach Jason Ahonen said. "They're special. I'm not going to compare them to any other class we've had, because it's not fair to the other classes or this class. But you look at 15-0, it's the longest winning streak in school history. We trailed only eight minutes this entire year. You talk about utter dominance. And they all graduate."
Shah (19 goals) showed his presence for his third hat trick of the season.
"I knew it was the last game and I wanted to leave it all on the field," Shah said. "I know that I'm not playing college soccer and I knew this was it for me. I wanted to make sure that I had no regrets and gave it my all. I put the work in and scored the goals."
The Blue Devils as a team put the work in together and were able to get through the different season without a loss.
"We did everything we can do this season," Shah said. "It was a very different, nontraditional season. Well, there was no postseason tournament. I don't think anybody can dispute the fact that we won everything that we could win. Undefeated season, conference champs, tournament champs, we did it all."
Noe Martinez started the scoring Saturday off an assist from Shah in the 16th minute for a 1-0 Warren lead.
Stevenson found a way to even the game in the 21st minute after a hard tackle in the penalty area. Alem Duratovic scored the penalty kick for his 21st goal of the season and set a school record with his 50th career goal.
"It's amazing to score that many goals in a shorter season," Duratovic said. "And to go through a four-month broken ankle injury. But coming back to score 21 goals in my last senior year, means so much to me."
Shah made the score 2-1 with a goal in 30th minute off a pass from Rodriguez.
The Blue Devils added goals in the 45th and 46th minute. Martinez recorded his second from Rodriguez and Shah also got his second one, hitting under the cross bar from close range.
Shah added his third in the 57th minute for the 5-1 Blue Devils' advantage.
Stevenson (10-3) got a goal back from Henry Chen in the 68th minute.
"If I look at the overall performance of the season, I couldn't be more pleased with my players," Stevenson coach Pepe Jon Chavez said. "To see the growth and development with a strong representative senior class. Our performance tonight doesn't wrap up or sum up the performance of the efforts of the boys. Warren has an amazing team, we always have a tough battle with Warren. I wish they had someplace to go and I wish this was not a conference championship. We might have seen each other down the road or somewhere down the line."
Stevenson reached the final by defeating Lake Zurich 3-2 and Warren shutout Mundelein 3-0 Saturday afternoon in the semifinals.