Boys soccer: Nava's hat trick lifts Elgin over South Elgin
When Elgin played at South Elgin during the regular season, the match ended in a scoreless draw.
Tuesday evening at Memorial Field, it was all Maroons.
Eduardo Nava scored a hat trick and assisted on Olamipo Ajayi's goal in the Maroons' 4-0 victory in the semifinal of the Class 3A Elgin regional.
The Maroons play at 3 p.m. Saturday against Streamwood, who defeated Hononegah 5-0 on Tuesday.
Nava got Elgin on the board in the 29th minute, taking a cross from Ajayi and knocking it in from about 10 yards out.
"I saw my man run to the side," Nava said. "I knew he was going to cross it, he's just like that. I toe-poked it for the first goal."
Nava struck again 6 minutes later from nearly the same spot. This time he took a nice cross from Ronaldo Reynosa following a run up the right side.
Elgin (10-3-5) nearly missed a third first-half goal as Edgar Perez hit the crossbar from close range.
Unlike the earlier game in South Elgin, the Maroons were able to open up their game on their full-width field.
"The key was getting on this field," said Elgin coach Dave Borg. "Playing them at South Elgin, they packed it in on a narrow field and we couldn't get anything generated. In this one, we used the width. We probably have more speed than they do and we used it to our advantage."
Nava had a couple of chances at the hat trick in the second half but couldn't convert. He passed up a couple of opportunities by passing to teammates. He passed to Ajayi from the deep corner for the Maroons' third goal. He nearly got a second assist after crossing to Isaac Espinosa, but the shot clanged off the crossbar.
"It's about the team," said Nava. "Without them I wouldn't have scored my 3 goals, and without that pass, he wouldn't have scored that goal. The team is not one and that's how you win."
Nava finally completed the hat trick with 5 seconds left when he found himself wide open in front of the net.
Fhernando Aviles made 4 saves in net for Elgin.
Ryan Doherty created some chances for the Storm. Aviles stopped him near the end of the first half. Early in the second, Aviles had to dive to his right to swat away Doherty's shot. Late in the game, Doherty found himself behind the defense and appeared to have a clear shot at the net, but Nicholas Lopez closed quickly and smothered the shot attempt.