Lyons forward Patrick Duncan wasn’t satisfied with his team’s offensive production in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Wheaton Warrenville South.
He was much happier with what the Lions were able to do on Thursday.
The Lions erupted for four goals in a 24-minute span of the first half en route to a surprisingly decisive 4-1 win over visiting St. Charles North in a PepsiCo Showdown quarterfinal in La Grange.
“We were a little disappointed that we didn’t get a couple more goals in our last game, though Wheaton was a good team,” Duncan said. “So we just came out with a little more fire and decided we were going to dictate the play. Luckily, we were able to move the ball a lot and do well.”
Duncan scored two goals just 98 seconds apart to give third-seeded Lyons (10-2) a 3-0 lead just 17 minutes into the first half.
Cole Gilchrist, who had opened the scoring with a fourth-minute strike, sent the ball into Duncan in the left side of the St. Charles North penalty area. Duncan was jostled by two defenders but fought his way through and beat North Stars goalkeeper Kevin Sabres with a short shot.
“That was great on Pat’s part,” Gilchrist said. “I just hit it into him and he did the rest. Props to him on that.”
Duncan followed by converting a penalty kick, and then 11 minutes after that, Daniel Gutierrez extended the lead to 4-0 on a secondary header. Camilo Drobny started that play with a 25-yard free kick from the right corner that found the head of Diego Lopez, who headed the ball to Gutierrez on the left post for an easy finish.
The early barrage stunned No. 6 seed St. Charles North (7-3-1), which came in riding a four-game winning streak.
“It was surprising for us too because we know that they’re a really tough team,” Duncan said. “We got really excited before the game, so it was good for us to come out and get ahead early and get some stuff going up top.”
The Lions, who have scored 38 goals, have become one of the most potent teams around. They imposed their will on the North Stars from the start, hustling to every ball and winning a high percentage, which is usually what St. Charles North does to opponents.
“I’m surprised,” St. Charles North coach Eric Willson said. “I think that we came out pretty flat. The execution of our game plan was non-existent.
“That being said, if you do that against this team, they will make you pay. I’ve seen and we’ve played some really good teams this year. That’s the most impressive team I’ve seen to this point.”
Lorenzo Estrada gave the North Stars a ray of hope heading into intermission when he scored on a 3-on-2 break with 21 seconds left in the first half. Chris Watson had the assist.
But that was the only time St. Charles North was able to get behind a Lyons defense ,led by Leo Gabrek and John Mazur, which allowed just three shots in the second half.
The Lions will take a five-game winning streak into Saturday’s semifinal against either New Trier or Lane.
“We’re excited,” Gilchrist said. “We’re looking forward to Saturday’s game. We know it’s going to be tough so we’re going to come out strong and hopefully put a couple away.”