Boys soccer: Warren blanks Stevenson in NSC showdown
Miguel Garcia was playing in just his second boys soccer match of the season after dealing with a thigh injury for Warren. The junior forward came out with gloves on a cool night.
Garcia took a while to warm up and when he did, he scored the opening goal that led Warren past visiting Stevenson 2-0 in a North Suburban Conference match in Gurnee.
The Blue Devils (8-1-2, 2-0-1) scored twice in the first half. Garcia found the back of the net after taking a long service from Miguel Rodriguez in the 14th minute.
Then, Ryan Stanciak had the other goal off a short touch from Braden Lechner that was from a throw-in in the 33rd minute.
"I was just a little bit chilly, that's why I put (the gloves) on," said Garcia, who got his first goal of the season. "It did keep me warm. The goal was a combo with Miguel. He sent it to the top and I had asked for the ball. I just did my part and put it away. It was just the movement off the ball that was the key."
Warren played tough defense and keeper George McAtee, who had 6 saves, had a clean sheet.
"I thought (our keeper) and the rest of the back line did a great job," Warren coach Jason Ahonen said. "(Stevenson) had some chances. But (our keeper) didn't have to make any killer saves. (Stevenson) missed a few chances. We were looking for that knockout punch in the second half with a long ball in the space and just didn't find it. If we found it, then the game would've been over. We were able to grind this out, in a very open conference race against a very good well-coached team. Pepe Jon Chavez is top-notch, and I love coaching against him."
Stevenson (8-2-2, 1-2) suffered its second loss in the NSC and has its sights on more important things.
"As far as we're concerned for the result, it wasn't what we wanted," Chavez said. "As far as the development, I'm a teacher of men. If there's a moment that we have to learn, then we have to learn. So, we win the ultimate race of life. I care way more than a conference championship. I'm looking for Stevenson to make a deep playoff run. You have to have games like these to mature yourselves. As a leader, as a staff, we will be held accountable."