The control Sandburg had early in Thursday night’s match against Lincoln-Way Central disappeared late in the first half.
The Knights surged, and came within an eyelash of scoring on two occasions.
A wake-up call for the Eagles?
“I think so,” Sandburg coach Desi Vuillaume said. “We had a few mental lapses. We talked to the guys at halftime about staying focused.”
The talks worked. Mike Klimowski and Nick Atkinson scored 86 seconds apart to lift the Eagles to a 2-0 in pool play of the Lincoln-Way Invitational in New Lenox.
Sandburg (5-2, 2-0 in pool play) scored the goals on nearly identical plays.
With 18:57 left, Joseph Labriola made an outside run and chipped a pass into the middle of the box where Klimowski put it away. After some debate over whether the play was offsides, the goal was allowed.
“[Labriola) sent in a great lob, and I just tapped it in,” Klimowski said. “It was my first varsity goal. It feels pretty nice.”
On the second goal, it was Przemyslaw Tylka who moved the ball down the right sideline before crossing to Atkinson in the middle of the field, where he finished.
“My goal was a mimic of Mike’s,” Atkinson said. “I finished it the same way he did. [Vuillaume] emphasizes working the ball outside and then getting it into the middle of the field.”
Central (3-2-1, 0-1-1 in pool play) nearly scored first in the 25th minute when Lucas Bordanco powered his way into the box and slipped a pass to Jacob Lysik, whose shot was stopped by Scott Swiontek (two saves).
With four minutes left in the first half, Lysik’s cross was nearly put away by Bordanco, who couldn’t quite strike it cleanly. The ensuing scramble nearly resulted in a Sandburg own-goal, but the ball was deflected just over the cross bar.
“We had some great chances that we didn’t put away,” Central coach Sean Fahey said. “When you let a team like Sandburg hang around, they’ll make adjustments. I think when we look at the film, we’ll have some regrets for sure.”