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Monteclar OT goal lifts Sandburg to first league title in 11 years

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By Steve Millar
Correspondent

Keith Monteclar saw the play developing and knew he was about set off a celebration.

When Lockport had a mix-up near its own goal in overtime, Monteclar was ready to pounce.

“When he messed up, all I was thinking was, ‘We won conference, we won conference,’” Monteclar said.

Monteclar came up with a steal and scored 14 minutes into overtime to lift Sandburg to a 2-1 win over the host Porters in a SouthWest Suburban Blue game Oct. 8.

With the victory, the Eagles (16-1-2, 4-0) won the Blue championship outright. It’s their first conference title since 2011.

Lockport (14-4-1, 2-2) was attempting to force a three-way tie between itself, Sandburg and Bolingbrook.

“It’s great to just win it outright,” Sandburg coach Desi Vuillaume said. “This is one of the goals we had set for ourselves and it’s great to see them have some success.”

On the game-winner, a Porters defender attempted to play a pass back to goalkeeper Luke Cibula, who seemed caught off-guard by the move. Cibula tried to get the ball and clear it, but Monteclar took it away and scored into an open net.

“I saw the center back mess up a little bit and I was like, ‘This is my chance,’” Monteclar said. “I knew that goalkeeper was going to either play the ball to us or I was going to win the ball. I won the ball and put it in.

“It felt so good scoring that goal. It felt amazing.”

Lockport took the lead on a goal from Jake Skiba in the 29th minute.

Sandburg answered less than two minutes later as Ben Lyons had a shot blocked in front of the goal, regathered the ball and found the back of the net on his second attempt to the tie game.

“We were behind,” Lyons said. “We knew we had to get a goal quick. Getting a quick goal like that gave us momentum back right away.”

The teams went toe-to-toe the rest of the way, with Sandburg goalkeeper Luke Thiesse making three saves.

Going into overtime, the Eagles were confident.

“We knew we were going to win,” Lyons said. “That’s it. We just had to match their intensity, even exceed their intensity and do what we had to do to finish the game off.”

Lockport had won back-to-back SouthWest Suburban Blue championships, beating the Eagles in overtime with the title on the line last season.

“It feels great,” Lyons said. “The past three years, we haven’t done it. Last year, we lost to them in overtime on the last day of the conference season. So, this is nice revenge.”

 

Shepard wins the Red
Oak Lawn delayed Shepard’s conference title celebration, jumping all over the Astros early and holding on for a 3-1 South Suburban Red win on Oct. 5.

Dylan Walsh, Armani Velastegui and Tristan Kramarz all scored in the first 23 minutes for the Spartans (15-3-1, 7-2-1).

“We wanted to defend on our home field,” Kramarz said. “We don’t want anyone to come here and beat us. We were ready for this game.”

Aidan Breslin scored on a penalty kick in the second half, but the Astros could get no closer.

The game had a playoff feel with the postseason right around the corner.

“This was definitely a good game to get us ready for the playoffs,” Oak Lawn coach Nate Joiner said. “I feel like we’re cautiously optimistic like you always should be in a 3A sectional where every game is hard. The seeds don’t really mean much. Anything can happen.”

The Spartans and Astros are seeded seventh and eighth, respectively, in the Class 3A Lockport Sectional.

The loss kept Shepard (14-6, 9-1) from clinching the South Suburban Red title, but the Astros took care of that in their next game. A 3-0 win over Oak Forest on Oct. 8 sealed the conference championship.

Zach Soltysiak scored twice and Filip Zawodniak once in the victory. Breslin and Chris Fernandez had assists.

 

RedHawks maul St. Viator
Marist had just one win prior to last week, but the RedHawks have kept fighting and came into this week having won back-to-back games.

Danny Olsen (two goals), Christian Bedgood (two goals) and Christian Chavez (one goal, three assists) all had huge games Oct. 8 as host Marist rolled to a 5-2 win over St. Viator in an East Suburban Catholic Conference game.

The RedHawks (3-13-3, 3-3-2) also beat Joliet Catholic 4-3 on Oct. 5.

“I’m proud of the boys,” Marist coach Sean Maxwell said. “It’s been a long season. We’ve been waiting for everything to jell. I knew there’d be some growing pains. I didn’t know it was going to be more like growing aches and pains.

“But I feel like the guys are starting to see what we’re trying to do. We still made some mistakes in the back line that we have to clean up. It helps when we see the ball into the back of the net five times, though.”

 

Crusaders, Caravan tie
Brother Rice and Mount Carmel wrapped up the Catholic League Blue season by playing to a 1-1 tie Oct. 6 at Brother Rice.

Reserve midfielder Angel Santoyo scored for the Crusaders (6-10-3, 2-2-2) in the 59th minute when he took a pass from Jimmy Gricus and ripped a shot in from 10 yards out.

It was the first career varsity goal for Santoyo, a junior.

“I make sure to put 100 percent in when I come into the game,” Santoyo said. “We’re actually bringing the team up when we come in off the bench. I’m working very hard to do that.”

The tie assured Brother Rice would finish either third or fourth in the seven-team CCL Blue after losing all six of its league games last season.

“A big part of us being young is letting them see that we can play with teams like this,” Crusaders coach Matt Prunckle said. “Mount Carmel has been at the top of the heap for a long time in the Catholic Blue, so we proved that we can.

“We’re regretting some of the missed chances we had, but hopefully we’re saving those to put away next time. I think this was a good confidence booster for us and a bit of a wake-up call.”

Mount Carmel (9-3-5, 1-0-5) rallied to salvage the tie when sophomore defender Nico Mullen ripped in a shot from 25 yards with 14:47 to play.

The Caravan tied in five of six CCL Blue games.

 

 

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