O'Donoghue scores twice, Geneva beats Batavia

  • Geneva's Liam O'Donoghue celebrates his first of 2 first-half goals against Batavia on Tuesday during Tri-City Soccer Night in Geneva.

      Geneva's Liam O'Donoghue celebrates his first of 2 first-half goals against Batavia on Tuesday during Tri-City Soccer Night in Geneva. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Geneva's Sam Seykora jumps over Batavia goalkeeper Ryan Horlock as Horlock kicks the ball away in the TriCities boys soccer night game in Geneva on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.

      Geneva's Sam Seykora jumps over Batavia goalkeeper Ryan Horlock as Horlock kicks the ball away in the TriCities boys soccer night game in Geneva on Tuesday, September 27, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Geneva's Ben Schuemer battles Batavia's Max Simmons for the ball in the TriCities boys soccer night game in Geneva on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.

      Geneva's Ben Schuemer battles Batavia's Max Simmons for the ball in the TriCities boys soccer night game in Geneva on Tuesday, September 27, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Batavia goalkeeper Ryan Horlock stops a charge by Geneva's Trent Giansanti in the TriCities boys soccer night game in Geneva on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.

      Batavia goalkeeper Ryan Horlock stops a charge by Geneva's Trent Giansanti in the TriCities boys soccer night game in Geneva on Tuesday, September 27, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Geneva's Peyton Friedman heads the ball against Batavia's Nathan Feller on Tuesday.

      Geneva's Peyton Friedman heads the ball against Batavia's Nathan Feller on Tuesday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Geneva's Genel Jaffer and Batavia's Brokk Olberg battle in the TriCities boys soccer night game in Geneva on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.

      Geneva's Genel Jaffer and Batavia's Brokk Olberg battle in the TriCities boys soccer night game in Geneva on Tuesday, September 27, 2022. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/27/2022 11:15 PM

When healthy and at maximum capacity with his abilities, Liam O'Donoghue can showcase exactly why he's so vital in the middle of the Geneva attack.

O'Donoghue, a Vikings' junior, was hampered during the summer with a right MCL injury. He then worked through a lingering midsection injury that put him off on a slower start to the season.

 

He's back on track. O'Donoghue scored 2 goals to help erase an early 1-goal Batavia lead and Geneva prevailed 3-1 over the Bulldogs to conclude Tri-City Soccer Night on Tuesday.

"He controls the middle very well," Geneva coach Jason Bhatta said. "He's super technical and his range of passing is great. He just roams the middle, a deep-line playmaker for us. I kind of think of it like a quarterback. He just sits here and surveys what he sees and hits people when he needs to."

"It's everything we need out of a holding mid," Bhatta continued. "Defensively, he does well to clean up anything that's dirty there. Today, he got forward on the goal, a good spot to be and then you can't ask for anything more on that free kick [for his second]."

O'Donoghue, who started feeling healthier by early September, simply loves playing for his team.

"We have a bunch of chemistry and it's just fun when I get to play," O'Donoghue said. "I get to ping balls. I get to play with Colin [Hasty], who's been exceptional. Trent [Giansanti], who's been amazing, so it's just fun to play with these guys."

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After a litany of ties and close losses for the majority of August through mid-September, the Vikings (7-1-7, 2-0-2) have now ripped off three consecutive wins, including two against DuKane Conference opponents St. Charles North and now Batavia (3-8-2, 0-3-1).

"It's huge. It's given us a bunch of confidence," O'Donoghue said. "I think we've won four out of the last five games. It was a little disappointing [in a 1-1 tie] against South Elgin, but we're starting to build back up. Just like last season where we were end of the season [and had] really strong wins, I think we can do that again."

Batavia sophomore Brokk Olberg put the Bulldogs ahead 1-0 on early penalty kick, but the Vikings scored the next 3 goals. The first two came from O'Donoghue.

On the second score, Batavia goalie Ryan Horlock appeared to catch the ball just outside his goalie box, allowing O'Donoghue to strike home the score on a penalty kick of his own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Hasty then added Geneva's final score with 10:37 left in the first half after Horlock bobbled the save.

"[The second half], it was better. It's just the final pass, the final connection there. We created some turnovers for them. [Geneva's] center backs did a nice job first half dictating play, so we definitely wanted to pressure them and not allow them to do that," Batavia coach Mark Gianfrancesco said.

"I thought we did that with some turnovers in here. Just was where's the next pass? So we made some adjustments and I thought that worked out pretty well."

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