Boys soccer: Elgin spreads the wealth, reaches sectional final
Elgin didn't need 3 goals from Eduardo Nava to reach a sectional final.
Nava, Olamipo Ajayi and Miguel Navarro scored goals as the Maroons downed Rockford Jefferson in one semifinal of the Class 3A Huntley boys soccer sectional on Wednesday.
Elgin will play Huntley at 10 a.m. Saturday for the sectional title, something no Elgin High boys soccer team has ever won.
Huntley defeated Dundee-Crown 4-3 in the second semi on Wednesday.
"The key was a lot of hard work," said Elgin defender Nicholas Lopez. "We put in the work in practice. Everyone shows up, everyone puts in all the work, love, dedication, passion, and that's why we're coming out on top."
Nava, who scored a hat trick against Streamwood in Elgin's regional final win on Saturday, scored the Maroons' first goal in the 16th minute, essentially redirecting a long pass into the far corner of the net.
Less than a minute later, Nava went down hard and left the game. Elgin (12-3-5) didn't miss a beat as Ajayi pounced on a loose ball in the middle of the field and knocked it in from about 20 yards out.
Ajayi's assist led to Elgin's third goal. He crossed it to Navarro, who worked himself into position and put it home.
That was more than enough for Fhernando Aviles and the Maroon defense, who kept the J-Hawks off the board in the second half.
"That was our thinking: get some rest now, don't get hurt, it's cold out here," said Elgin coach Dave Borg. "It was nice to have that early lead. At the end of the half we lost a little of our intensity."
The pace slowed in the second half. Jefferson's defense picked up and the Maroons also appeared to button it down a little after the break.
Navarro had Elgin's only shot on goal of the second half.
The Maroons had a great chance in the waning minutes of the first half as Ajayi floated a beautiful cross to Ronaldo Reynoso who was running in from the opposite side, but the pass just missed.
Meanwhile, after an opening flurry, the J-Hawks seldom threatened the Elgin goal. Aviles finished with 3 saves in goal for Elgin.