Will McGowen and Evan Floersch have a chemistry developed from playing on Hinsdale Central’s dominant backline.
Each is versatile enough to take on roles in the Red Devils’ offensive attack. Floersch is the team’s long free kick specialist and McGowen has the size (6-2) as a principal target on set pieces.
In the 63rd minute, the two collaborated brilliantly as McGowen smashed in a header from a ball slotted by Floersch that completed No. 10 Hinsdale Central’s stunning comeback to knock out top-ranked Morton 3-2 in the championship of the Class 3A Lyons Sectional Saturday in Western Springs.
Hinsdale Central (16-4-4) advanced to Tuesday’s Lewis Supersectional against No. 6 Naperville North.
The Red Devils overcame a 2-0 deficit and avenged a one-sided 3-0 loss against the Mustangs in the chamipionship of their own tournament in September.
Hinsdale Central utilized re-starts for each of its three goals. On the game-winner, Floersch lofted a ball from 40 yards out that McGowen alertly reached and pushed inside the near post.
“There are a few guys I always look for, like Will McGowen,” Floersch said. “He’s been extremely strong in the playoffs.
“My job is just to put it in that [box] area and make the goalie come out and force him to make a tough decision.”
McGowen credited his game-winner to his own preparation and training.
“You just try to get to a spot and it’s all routine,” he said. “That’s a big part of what I do for this team. I made eye contact with Evan and he knows where to hit it.”
The drama within the game showcased two elite goalkeepers. The match turned on two penalty kicks, one made and one denied. Morton midfielder Edgar Garcia staked the Mustangs to the early advantage by scoring goals in the 14th and 16th minute for the Mustangs (24-2-2).
The momentum changed in the 24th minute after Morton goalkeeper Ian Chacon was called for a foul going up for a ball and made contact with a Hinsdale Central offensive player that resulted in a penalty kick for the Red Devils.
Midfielder Jack Baderman converted the shot.
“When we had the two and they had the one, it gave them the momentum on the [penalty kick],” Morton coach Mike Caruso said. “They started winning the fifty-fifty balls after that. They kept moving through the ball and we kind of stopped and lunged and fouled a few more times that gave them free kicks.”
Chacon’s counterpart, Wes Bergevin, named an All-American this week, preserved the victory with just 23 seconds to play after he denied a shot by Morton’s Leo Delgado.
“My goalkeeper instinct kicked in there and I went left and the ball went left, so we met before the goalline,” Bergevin said.
Bergevin also speared a corner by Delgado in the 71st minute.
“After we got the penalty kick, we got more confident and we knew we could come back against this team if we matched their intensity.”
Midfielder Justin Yi scored in the 42nd minute off a throw in from Mikey Usher.
“We knew how good Morton was,” Hinsdale Central coach Michael Wiggins said. “I’ve been coaching in the West Suburban [Conference] for more than 20 years and I’ve said all year this is one of the best five Morton teams they’ve ever had.
“We know what an accomplishment this is.”