Irish will not peer past quarterfinals
PEORIA – Even with the early exits of perennial powers Arlington Heights St. Viator and Aurora Marmion Academy from the Class A state tournament, the Notre Dame boys soccer team knows its quarterfinal match won’t be easy.
“Anyone who makes it to state you have to watch out for,” ND goalkeeper Jeff Engelbrecht said. “Everyone deserves to be there, everyone can hold their own. (Elmhurst Timothy Christian) beat Viator and Viator is a good team so we can’t overlook them.”
The Irish (23-2) play Timothy Christian at 5:30 p.m. today on the campus of North Central College in Naperville.
Timothy Christian (18-6) beat St. Viator 1-0 to advance to state.
Early reports ND coach Peter Nash has received say Timothy Christian (18-6) plays similar to his Irish.
The Trojans have won their last three games 1-0, including an overtime victory over Elmwood Park for their own regional title.
ND has had a little more breathing room in the postseason, winning each game by two or more goals.
“I don’t care who our opponent is,” Nash said. “I feel we have a very good shot going in. There are great teams there and we’re going to take it one at a time but I don’t think anyone can beat us if we’re playing our ‘A’ game.”
First-year Timothy Christian coach Peter Anderson brings in a team that graduated 14 seniors last year.
It’s the first time since 1980 the Trojans have had a boys team advance to the Elite Eight.
“(St. Viator and Marmion Academy losing) makes us think it’ll be easier but we got beat by (Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin) earlier in the year and they’re still there,” ND senior midfielder Wes Crawmer said. “It does give us a little light of hope but there’s going to be strong teams there, it’s the Elite Eight.”
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