Nemesis Sacred Heart-Griffin breaks Irish hearts
NAPERVILLE – The Notre Dame boys soccer team suffered its second 1- 0, heartbreaking defeat of the season to Springfield Sacred Heart- Griffin on Saturday in the Class A semifinals.
SHG senior midfielder Chris Loftus scored a golden goal assisted by Zach Jones in the 92nd minute to send the Irish to the third- place match.
“Both teams battled,” Notre Dame coach Peter Nash said. “They had their moments, we had ours, but ultimately Sacred Heart won the war.”
SHG, which beat Notre Dame 1-0 on September 7, pressured Notre Dame for most of the first 35 minutes.
Wes Crawmer’s shot on goal from 18 yards out with 4:45 left in the period started a late first-half rally for ND.
It was nearly capped when the Irish appeared to score, but Nick Mentgen was called for a foul for backing into SHG keeper Charlie Sales.
“Your team gains that moment when you score, (then) that rush you get is taken away,” Nash said. “It depletes you a little bit.”
SHG suffered the same fate with 4:15 left in the game when what appeared to be an Andrew Hamilton goal was called back on an offsides call.
Notre Dame had an opportunity off a corner kick in the first overtime with 3:56 left, but Sales stopped Mentgen’s header for one of 10 saves.
SHG controlled the second overtime. Jones nearly put the game away 24 seconds in, but Rob Eckert deflected the ball out of bounds. Loftus scored 1:46 later.
“We didn’t stay poised at times but we definitely played hard and did everything we could to keep the ball out of the net,” Nash said.
Superman: New Lenox Providence Catholic’s Brad Guzan did his best super hero impression in the Celtic’s 2-1 semifinal victory over Waterloo Gibault.
The do-everything senior played sweeper and midfield until the end of the doubleovertime game, then instead of finding a phone booth to change in, he sprinted to the bench.
When the game went to penalty kicks, Guzan took off his field jersey and pulled on black windbreaker pants and a black goalkeeper jersey.
“(Celtic coach John Kovatch) asked me to jump in there,” said Guzan, who has verbally commited to South Carolina to play keeper. “We went over this in practice. If the situation came up, I told Johnny I was all ready to go. I stepped up and was fortunate to make a few saves.
“(Regular Celtic keeper Pat Farrell) would have done the same. He was awesome today. Without him, we wouldn’t have been here.”
It was the first time Guzan, who scored two goals in the quarterfinals, played keeper this season, but he has experience in net with his club team.
“You don’t see that very often, but it’s a legal move,” Kovatch said. “He’s always going to be in there when we’re giving up a PK. He’s a great goalie and a great player.”
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