St. Charles East, Waubonsie Valley battle to 2-2 tie

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St. Charles East felt like it dominated the pace of play so much in the first half of Thursday’s Upstate Eight crossover at Waubonsie Valley that it should have had a lead of about four goals.

But soccer is a fickle game, and despite that domination, the Saints wound up having to scramble to pick up a 2-2 tie.

On the heels of a 1-0 loss to Batavia earlier this week, that drops the Saints to 8-1-1 overall.

“We had 90 percent possession of the ball, numerous chances, gave up a penalty and a breakdown with 0.9 seconds left in the half, I think we’ve got to do better,” East coach Paul Jennison said. “Great fight to come back from 2-1 down, but I would like to think with the amount of possession and shots that we had that we shouldn’t have found ourselves in anything like that.”

East had a penalty shot turned away by Waubonsie goalkeeper Eddie Sanchez with 30:11 left in the half, leaving the Saints with only a 1-0 lead Christian Memije’s goal off an Evan DiLeonardi feed with 7:53 left in the half.

Waubonsie (5-3-2) kept on grinding after that save, and with 0.9 seconds in the half, Sohum Buch found the back of the net to suddenly send the Warriors into the half tied at 1-1.

“Penalties can go either way,” Sanchez said. “If the goalie stops it, it’s a huge confidence booster. The pressure is on him. He’s expected to score. I think as a team, that kind of lifted us and helped us play until literally the last 0.9 seconds of the first half when we scored that goal.”

In the second half, it was Waubonsie that drew a penalty shot, and Henry Zenhal took advantage. With 31:58 left in the game, he converted and the Warriors had a 2-1 lead.

“It definitely helped going into the second half with confidence,” Waubonsie coach Jose Garcia said. “But you can’t get overconfident. That’s what I told them at the half, don’t get overconfident, play your game, because they’re not going to let down, and they didn’t. They came back to get the tie.”

It took a while for the Saints to get the equalizer, but Collin Sheehan found the ball in traffic and tied the game at 9:43 left in the half.

“For the soccer we played, to see ourselves at the end of a draw and being down 2-1 for a good half hour, that’s not us,” Jennison said. “We definitely have to reflect on that in a positive way. We’ve got to raise our game. We’ve got to do better.”

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