Streamwood, Larkin each score twice, advance to regional final

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Streamwood and Larkin’s objectives for Wednesday’s semifinals of the Class 3A Streamwood Regional were avoiding having late-season victories avenged.

The top seed and host Sabres chalked up a 2-0 shutout of fourth-seeded Elgin, while third-seeded Larkin found a way to slip past second-seeded Dundee-Crown for the second straight year, 2-1.

That means Streamwood (13-5-2) and the Royals (8-10-5) meet in Saturday’s 3 p.m. championship.

Streamwood scored 9:17 into the opener as Blerim Shoboni’s sixth assist enabled Donnie Sosa to register his seventh goal with an eight-yarder from right of center.

“It was the same exact play we combined on a few games ago,” Sosa said. “He fed me the ball and I was able to one-touch it to the corner.”

With 2:07 left before halftime, Streamwood scoring leader Allan Camarena netted his 22nd goal from just inside the right side of the penalty box. That clinched the Sabres’ encore to their 3-1 regular-season win over the Royals.

Elgin (7-12-3) missed a variety of breakaways and shots to make Sergio Blanco’s eighth shutout easier.

“We didn’t convert our chances even though we’ve been playing much better the last two weeks,” Elgin coach Dave Borg said “That’s the difference between a No. 1 seed and a No. 4.”

Game 2 saw Dundee-Crown aiming to avenge a 2-1 regular-season loss with an aggressive start, only to have Larkin strike just 1:14 prior to halftime. Inno Simental’s throw-in pin-balled among players until Abel Saenz knocked it home.

The Chargers (12-9-1) got even with 16:34 to play as Ivan Sanchez fed the ball upfield to Andrew Janikowski, whose cross became a 10-yarder for Julian Ajroja. But instead of finding a go-ahead goal, Larkin regained the lead with 6:36 left in regulation. That’s when Simental earned his fifth assist on yet another throw-in, this one becoming a nine-yard header by Moises Raya.

“I’m always aiming for my teammates’ heads and just trying to get 100 percent on the throw,” Simental said.

“I noticed his throws were going further, so I backed up a little, and then it was the same as what we’ve worked on in practice,” Raya said.

“His throws are quite a weapon,” Larkin coach Ken Hall said. “We attacked the ball well all match, we could have used a few more finishes to make me feel better.”

Charger coach Rey Vargas felt the same about his team’s missed opportunities, which led to their fourth straight loss.

“We outplayed them and controlled the ball from the start and just needed to finish. We squandered it away,” Vargas said. “We put in a couple of those early and it’s a different game. We tried playing at a high pace, but some of the whistles didn’t help us at all, and that compounds two dumb mistakes.”

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