Bloom put itself in prime position to capture the Southland Conference title Tuesday by beating Crete-Monee for the second time this season. The way the game ended, though, marred the celebration.
Bloom won 2-1 after the game was called with 5:51 to go following an incident in which spectators ran onto the field and nearly sparked a brawl in Crete.
Two people, apparently upset about a foul committed by a Bloom player, came onto the playing surface to confront the player. That led to a confrontation between the teams, though it never escalated beyond pushing and shoving.
The referees called the game at that point, citing player safety concerns.
“This has always been a big rivalry and all, but this is going too far,” Bloom coach Kelly Gutierrez said. “For people to run on the field like that, it’s just crazy. It’s a shame to have the game end like that.”
“It was very disappointing,” Crete-Monee coach Neil Hodge said.
Before the incident, Bloom (10-4-3, 6-0) scored its goals on nearly identical plays, Tony Aldape setting up Alex Segoviano each time.
The game-winner came with 13:35 to go, Aldape sending a pass ahead to Segoviano, who got behind the defense and sent a shot inside the left post and past Crete-Monee goalie Carlos Soto (8 saves).
“Tony got me the ball and I just took it and shot,” Segoviano said. “It’s always a fun game when we play Crete-Monee and we really wanted to win.”
With its second win over the Warriors (7-7-1, 3-2), Bloom can win the conference crown outright if it goes 3-1 or better in its remaining league games, all against opponents the Blazing Trojans beat comfortably the first time they played them this season.
“This is a big win for us,” Gutierrez said. “We always look forward to playing them. It’s always a good contest between the two and a good test.”
Crete-Monee took the lead in the 21st minute when Karon Spencer set up Fernando Aguire with a perfect pass, Aguire finishing for his 21st goal of the season.
Aldape’s pass sprung Segoviano on a breakaway as Bloom countered off a Crete-Monee corner to produce the equalizer with 1:23 left in the first half.
“(Segoviano) is a great player,” Hodge said. “He scored four goals against us the first time we played them. We needed to a better job against him.”