In 2013, Lincoln-Way North won five games and scored multiple goals in a game just twice. So far this season, the Phoenix is 4-0 and has scored at least twice in all four games.
Safe to say things have changed for North, which piled up all its goals in the second half Tuesday night to roll to a 4-0 win over Little Village in the semifinals of the Windy City Ram Classic at Toyota Park.
“Seasons aren’t made in the first week, but this is a great start,” North coach Mike Murphy said. “We played very well (Tuesday). This was an impressive win against a very good team.”
The Phoenix will meet Bolingbrook in the championship of the 32-team tournament at 10 a.m. Sept. 14 at Toyota Park. North won the girls version of the event in the spring.
Little Village (3-1) will play Kennedy in Saturday’s third-place game.
Ruben Sanchez led the Phoenix surge with two goals and an assist. He got the scoring started with 30:35 left to play, heading home a Jordan Abbasi cross off a corner kick.
“I just saw it all the way through, snuck between two defenders and put it in,” Sanchez said. “In the second half, we realized this was our chance to get to Toyota Park and we wanted it.”
Isaac Cahue tapped in a goal after a scramble in the box off a Jake Mitchell cross for an insurance goal with 9:35 left.
Sanchez scored on a penalty shot and Mitchell found the net on a breakaway, assisted by Sanchez, to close the scoring.
Niko Mavrogiannis made six saves to record the shutout, getting help from a back line of Luke Mackowiak, Kyle Bechtold and Jason Wiltjer.
“We like being the underdog,” Mackowiak said. “No one expected us to get this far and we just want to keep it going and win this championship.”
Edgar Tejeda made three saves for Little Village.
Bolingbrook 7, Kennedy 1: Bolingbrook (4-0) exploded for five second-half goals to pull away and advance to the championship game for the first time.
After Kennedy (3-1) closed to within 2-1 on a Giovanni Mares goal late in the first half, Marco Becerra and Luis Flores each scored twice for the Raiders in the second half.
Cristian Gutierrez found the net two times in the first eight minutes of the game for Bolingbrook and Joshua Perakis added a goal.
“We’re very excited to get to Toyota Park,” Becerra said. “It’s my senior year and we really want to win this.”