Evanston 2, Maine South 1
Evanston senior forward Gus Fleps scored the game-winning goal with 5:21 remaining in Tuesday night’s Class 3A Evanston Sectional boys soccer semifinal against Maine South. The goal gave the Wildkits a 2-1 victory and it clinched their spot in the Evanston Sectional final on Saturday.
Both teams scored goals in the first half — Evanston senior defender Timothy Kenney scored with 22:47 remaining in the half and Maine South junior forward Tino Lappo evened the score with 17:03 left in the half — and Lappo had a golden opportunity to break the 1-1 tie with 9:59 remaining in regulation. A pass from senior Laick Sache found an unmarked Lappo in the box. Lappo then weaved around the Evanston goalkeeper with a dribble to his left. Lappo, who was at a sharp angle from about 10 yards away and had an open net, hit an off balance, left-footed shot that sailed over the crossbar. Fleps scored five minutes later.
Evanston senior midfielder Aaron Stone was the catalyst for both of Evanston’s goals. His perfect free kick set up Kenney’s goal, on which junior defender Brett Lowry assisted, and the senior weaved through the Hawks’ defense before setting up Fleps for the game-winner.
BY THE NUMBERS
Tuesday night’s 2-1 victory was the first time the Wildkits (17-1-5) have won a postseason match in regulation. They beat Prospect 2-1 in overtime in their Loyola Regional semifinal one week ago, and they beat Maine West 4-3 in the Loyola Regional final on Oct. 25, edging the Warriors 4-2 in penalty kicks.
“The goalie, he came out pretty well, but I just saw a little bit of space between the post and his leg, and luckily I got it right there where he couldn’t get his hand down. … (It was) the most important goal, and I think the best combination, build-up play that we’ve had. Me and Aaron, we were pretty much on the same page the whole way through there.” — Fleps on his game-winning goal