Boys soccer: Defense carries Mundelein to another win

Mundelein's boys soccer team has started the season with defense leading the way. The Mustangs have allowed just 3 goals through their first three matches, including their 3-0 win over St. Patrick in the second round of pool play of the Jim Wolter Titan Invitational at Glenbrook South in Glenview on Wednesday afternoon.

Senior Carson Kowalski is one of the Mustangs' leaders on the back line that includes a seniors Anthony Feather and Gil Aguilera, along with junior Cade McGlothlin.

"I'm just trying to keep the back line together with no pockets or space," Kowalski said. "That's what we practice and execute in the games. I do try to think ahead of everybody and we all chip in together."

The Mustangs (3-0-1) had a clean sheet from keepers Nathan Espinosa (4 saves) and Angelo Gallardo (2 saves).

"I thought we weren't organized defensively in the first half," Mundelein coach Sebastian Falinski said. "But, these guys just don't quit. The last couple of games, we've given up a goal and responded. We just had a great response in the second half."

Mundelein scored the opening goal in the 35th minute with 19 seconds left. Matt Daniel took a service from John Chambers and placed the ball into the side netting for a 1-0 advantage.

Kowalski set up the second Mustangs goal in the 60th minute off a throw-in that bounced off the head of Omar Mangato.

Then, Mundelein added a goal in the final 28 seconds through a combination of passes. Bryan Morales scored off an assist from Frankie Jimenez.

"We do have some guys that can win the ball in the air," Falinski said. "We did a nice job of playing against the wind. We take pride with our defense and it was nice to get a clean sheet."

St. Patrick (0-3) had some opportunities with the wind in the first half and just couldn't connect with some chances against Mundelein.

"That's what has been happening to us over the first few games," St. Patrick coach Kyle McClure said. "We just couldn't convert on our chances. We had more than enough chances to get one or two goals. Soccer is a game of momentum. Mundelein did a good job defensively and they played pretty well as a unit."

In the other matchups, Stevenson upended Speer Academy 4-1, Mt. Carmel shut out Prospect 5-0 and Glenbrook South played Glenbard West to a scoreless draw.

On Thursday, Stevenson will play Glenbard West at 4:15 p.m. and Mundelein plays Mt. Carmel at 5:45. Also, Glenbrook South hosts Speer at 4:15 p.m. and Prospect takes on St. Patrick at 5:45 p.m. Winners of each pool advance into Saturday morning's championship at 11 a.m.

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