If it is October, the time is right for Jeff Boateng to perform his magic.
The electrifying Lake View senior forward scored a career-best four goals as the defending city champion Wildcats ripped Steinmetz 5-1 in a Public League quarterfinal Saturday at South Shore.
Boateng powered Lake View (8-3-2) into the second semifinal against Kelly on Tuesday at Lane. The game features the last two city champions. Lake View defeated Kelly in group play last year during its championship run.
“Every time we get into the playoffs, our mentality changes and we realize we have to get things done,” Boateng said. Lake View also handled Steinmetz (8-4-2) during the regular season 6-0. The Wildcats treated the score as though it never happened.
That attitude helped power the Wildcats to the commanding 5-0 lead at the break.
“Even though we played them the last time and won, we didn’t let that change our minds,” Boateng said.
Boateng’s dynamic scoring enabled the Wildcats to score four goals in the opening 21 minutes of play, effectively ending the game there. The forward scored his first goal on a penalty kick in the sixth minute after a Silver Streaks defender illegally touched the ball in the box.
In the 11th minute, working a sharp two-on-one with Irvin Sarado, Boateng blasted a ball with his left foot from about 12 yards out inside the far post. He is naturally right-footed but prefers to shoot with his left. “That’s my favorite,” he said, scoring three of his goals with his left foot. “Don’t let me get open with the left foot, and I’m not going to miss.”
Defender Alejandro Villasenor punched in a short ball in the 17th minute as Lake View pulled away. “We’re in championship mode,” he said of his third goal. “Last year there wasn’t any pressure on us because we were the underdog. Now we’re just winning the field and playing with a lot of confidence,” he said.
Steinmetz could never counter with a sufficient possession time to slow down Boateng. He scored his final goal in the 38th minute off a beautiful cross from Sarado. “Our team chemistry is really good,” Boateng said.
“Today’s game was really important for us. It’s not easy repeating, and we know that. We depend on each other to repeat, and that’s what our mentality is. As for right now, we have to beat Kelly and then we’re back in the [title] game,” he said.
Ridl Velasquez averted the shutout for the Silver Streaks by scoring in the 67th minute.