Boys soccer: Hersey drops Buffalo Grove to reach MSL Cup
After being away since 2008, Hersey is finally back in the MSL Soccer Cup.
Simon Hememway's sensational solo goal early in the second half, and a Charlie Seig strike, was enough to give the Huskies a 2-1 victory over Buffalo Grove Saturday afternoon at Grant Blaney Stadium.
The Mid-Suburban East champions will now play at West champ Fremd Thursday at 7 p.m. in the 44th annual MSL Soccer Cup.
"The guys never hung their heads after losing to Fremd on Thursday, putting us up against the wall and knowing we had to get three points with a win or fall short in the division race," said Huskies coach, Mike Rusniak, whose club finishes with 24 overall points, one more than Prospect and Rolling Meadows.
"We picked up a few injuries in that game with Fremd, losing our keeper (Joe Lens), but as we have all year, we're a resilient group, and it showed today with this big win."
Rusniak would turn to field player Pat Rocks to play between the sticks, and the senior did well in place of Len, thanks in part to a back line of captains Andrew Hamilton, Charlie Shiffman and teammates Matt Carlson and Alex Masztak.
"We were disappointed after that loss to Fremd, but we didn't panic. We knew what we had to do today, and everyone pulled together to win and (we get to) play Fremd again," said Shiffman.
The host Bison (6-10-2, 6-5-0), who were hoping to be giant killer for the second consecutive game, did not come out with the same energy or purpose they did on Thursday when they defeated Barrington 2-1 with the game-winner coming in the 80th minute.
"We just didn't come to play. We really had a letdown after our win over Barrington the other night," said Bison coach Darren Llewellyn, whose club finished fifth overall in the division and will now play at Conant Tuesday in its league-ending crossover game.
"I am at a loss as to why we came out so flat but credit Mike's guys, they did what they had to do, and to be honest if it isn't us playing in the final I am glad it is (Rusniak) that went through," added Llewellyn.
After a goal-less first half, Hememway hit the opener in the 49th minute with an enterprising run and carry up the left side in which he beat a pair of challengers and was almost knocked off the ball before finding the upper right corner.
"Getting that first goal was huge for us," admitted Adrian Szumski, whose pace, and energy up top kept the Bison on high alert all throughout.
Left alone from 12 yards, Seig double the Huskies' advantage three minutes from time, making Jacob Krajewski's goal in the 80th minute harmless.
"We lost a lot of quality players from our team last spring, so to see our core players, and a bunch of first-time varsity players work hard, and learn to play together advance into the Cup says plenty about a terrific group of young men," said a proud Rusniak.