Notre Dame moves to sectional title game — Quick goal sets tone for
PEORIA – Nick Mentgen’s header 1:42 into the Notre Dame boys soccer team’s match Saturday against Dunlap in a Class A Peoria Sectional semifinal seemed to happen pretty quick.
But it wasn’t fast compared to Normal U-High.
The Pioneers needed only 11 seconds at Notre Dame to break Metamora’s defense, one that’s carried it throughout the season, in the second semifinal.
Both goals provided early cushions that held up as the Irish beat Dunlap 2-0 and U-High topped Metamora 3-0.
The early scores also gave a false sense of security to U-High (17- 3-1) and ND (22-2), who will meet in the sectional title game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“We became too complacent after that goal, and we stopped working,” Nash said. “I was disappointed we didn’t put in 80 minutes. We put in 20 here and 20 there and it could’ve come back to bite us.”
Forward Nick Cicciarelli gave ND a 2-0 lead with :25 left in the first half.
Cicciarelli took a 30-yard feed from Mentgen and chipped the ball over Dunlap keeper Mike Haynes, who came off his line to stop the ball.
“He put it where I wanted it and I put it over,” Cicciarelli said. “It was a beautiful ball.”
Dunlap (19-4-3) had chances to cut ND’s lead to one in the second half, especially in the last two minutes.
Defender Andy Kellogg hit the crossbar with 1:57 left and ND goalkeeper Jeff Engelbrecht got a glove on Eagles midfielder John Ferguson’s shot with :20 left.
Engelbrecht made four saves to record his 65th career shutout.
The in the second semifinal, Metamora (15-3-3) responded to Stuart Beurskens’ early goal with two shots on goal in the next two minutes.
“That (U-High’s first goal) was tremendous, and it was a beautiful goal,” U-High coach Bodo Fritzen said. “But we were a little lazy after that.”
“Obviously (U-High’s goal) hurt us,” Metamora coach Danny Driscoll said. “Sometimes you have to go through these situations to learn from them. It’s a learning process. They’ve been here and done that.
“We knew all along we were going to defend. Once they got up 1-0 it hurt us, but we still played our game for awhile and we were okay. Eventually we had to come out of it and then it got helterskelter, and that’s not our style.”
Redbird keepers John Crabtree, who played 74 minutes, and Lee Blackburn faced a combined 17 shots on goal.
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.