Boys soccer: Carmel impresses in postseason tuneup
Taking a roller-coaster ride at the end of the regular season may not be the best way to be ready for the state soccer tournament.
However, Carmel Catholic picked up a well-needed victory over host Lake Zurich 2-1 in their season finale in a nonconference game on Tuesday night.
The Corsairs (8-7) over the last few weeks have beaten a couple of quality opponents like Lake Zurich (12-3-4) and Warren (11-4-4) but have lost to Libertyville and recently to Notre Dame and Nazareth in the East Suburban Catholic Conference.
"We did have some improvement and were trying to get ready for the postseason," Carmel coach Ray Krawzak said. "We had a good effort even though we were missing a lot of guys. Lake Zurich was good and they've got some really good players."
Carmel has its sights set going into the Class 2A Deerfield regional starting next Tuesday.
"It's about the journey and not the destination." Krawzak said. "I feel like we've had an incredible journey of ups and downs this season. It's great to be coming into the playoffs and getting positive in front of you. It's all the little things you do in practice. It's all the journey and that's what it is all about. That's the stuff that leads to the destination."
Carmel had played the match without four of its starters and still had a good result.
Aidan Fendel scored the eventual winning goal in the 35th minute after taking a pass from a freshman David Fajardo. He scored his third goal of the season on a shot that was 8 yards off the end line that found the netting from the right side of the box.
"I was on the run, just hit and put it in the top corner," Fendel said. "Honestly, it happened so quickly. I just looked at where I wanted to go and hit with power."
Erik Miller scored the opening Corsairs goal on a penalty kick in the 13th minute for a 1-0 advantage.
Lake Zurich's Diego Rivera tied the match 1-1 in the 31st minute on a rebound that found the back of the net.
The Bears had numerous opportunities to score but the Corsairs' keeper Nick Magnone made 13 saves.
"Every time you step on the field you want to play well," Lake Zurich coach Mike Schmitz said. "You want to play your best. We did play our best in the second half. The ball didn't go in and you want to give credit to their goalie making some nice saves. You're going to have those days sometimes."
Lake Zurich also played its final match of the regular season and will begin its postseason in Class 3A at Mundelein next Tuesday.