Waubonsie Valley rides the wave to slip past Bartlett

SHARE Waubonsie Valley rides the wave to slip past Bartlett

Waubonsie Valley’s teeter-totter season continued Thursday night.

The host Warriors fell behind early but roared back to beat Bartlett 3-1 in Upstate Eight Valley action in Aurora.

The win snapped a three-game winless streak for Waubonsie Valley (6-4-2, 1-2-1), which has been maddeningly inconsistent. The previous five games saw the Warriors upset Benet and Naperville North, blow a 3-1 lead with eight minutes left and lose to South Elgin, tie preseason No. 1 St. Charles East and then lose to Oswego East for the first time ever.

“The inconsistency is really killing me right now, but we got the win,” Waubonsie Valley coach Jose Garcia said. “I think that’s going to be a good boost of confidence for our boys.”

This game was a microcosm of the whole season. The Warriors outshot Bartlett 20-4, but the Hawks (3-8, 2-2) scored on their only shot of the first half when Igor Zwada dove headlong to nod home Tim Riordan’s cross to give Bartlett a 1-0 lead seven minutes in.

“They did a great job and they were doing that the whole game, playing it to the side and then crossing it in,” Garcia said. “I’ve got to give it to them; it was a great goal.”

Both squads created plenty of chances but it was the Warriors who got the shots off and took control. Senior Jon Braun had two goals and an assist for Waubonsie Valley.

“I know as a team we got frustrated after Oswego East and South Elgin,” said Braun, who has seven goals. “But we came back and we wanted to go out and play harder because we want to prove that we shouldn’t have lost those games.”

Braun tied the game with 21:23 left in the first half and then gave the Warriors the lead for good with 7:52 to go before intermission. The two goals traveled a combined eight yards as both resulted from good teamwork.

Freshman Stephan Spano triggered the first goal when he sent a cross from the right wing in front to Sohum Buch, whose shot was deflected by a defender to Braun, who poked a shot past a screened Bartlett goalkeeper Jake Hasenstein.

“I just try to play the ball through and make my runs off in the corner and get the ball in low into the six-yard box and see what happens,” Spano said.

Braun’s second tally was set up by a lead cross from Drew Valek to Braun, who deliberately let the ball go because he was offsides. But Henry Zehnal came crashing in from the far post and passed to Braun for an easy finish.

“Drew did a great job on the sideline, took it in and then crossed it,” Braun said. “Henry called me off because I was offside … so then I waited and Henry played just a nice square ball back to me and calmly put it in.”

Buch made it 3-1 when he headed home a Braun cross just 30 seconds into the second half. Hasenstein made eight saves to keep the Hawks in it, but the closest they came to trimming the deficit happened when Zweda’s running shot from 18 yards out hit the inside of the right post with 23:30 left.

“Our guys have been playing with a much higher level of intensity the last few games,” Bartlett coach Ben Beary said. “We had control of the possession enough today. You’ve got to hand Waubonsie the credit because I think as the game went on their back line got stronger and stronger and we just could not break through.”

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