For the second consecutive game, the Fenwick boys soccer team needed more than 100 minutes to pull off yet another upset in the 2012 Class 3A State playoffs.
The Friars (16-6-1) edged Hinsdale Central 1-0 after winning the first round of penalty kicks 3-1, and advanced to play Tuesday in the super-sectional where they will take on the winner of Saturday’s matchup between Sandburg and the Lincoln-Way Central.
Senior midfielder Jack Alberts put the first penalty kick in the net for the Friars after senior goalkeeper Jacob Peterson stopped the Red Devils from getting on the board.
“You can’t say enough about (Peterson),” said Friars head coach Robert Watson.” I can’t say enough about these kids. It’s not only Jacob, but it’s our defense and it’s a complete team effort. Jacob is a great captain and a great leader, and has all the talent in the world.”
Hinsdale Central’s Leandro Perez evened the penalty kicks with a shot to the right side of the net, but Friars senior midfielder Dylan Kramer answered right back with a shot to the left corner. With the Friars up 2-1, the Red Devils’ next shot sailed just wide to the right. Friars junior forward Carlos Soto delivered after that — with a shot to the left side to put Fenwick up 3-1 and seal the sectional championship victory. Watson said he knows that although a trip to the state title is within reach, his team will be focused on the super-sectional game.
“We’ve been preaching all year to take it one game at a time, one minute at a time,” he said. “I think you’re seeing the fruition of that right now.”
The Friars’ stellar defense stopped the Red Devils on several crucial opportunities in front of Peterson, who notched 22 total saves in the game.
“The defense was absolutely fantastic,” Peterson said. “(Junior defender) Joaquin Camara, (senior midfielder) Ben Greenberg, (senior defender) Scott Gruszka … the whole team made a defensive effort and I can’t thank them enough for doing that for me. It’s not just me, it’s these guys. They work hard in practice, they do everything. All I can do is make a few saves here and there.”
Peterson now has three shutouts in the playoffs (12 total on the season), and continued to play in goal with complete determination to extend the final season of his high school career. He couldn’t be more proud to help the Friars make history.
“It feels amazing,” he said. “Nothing can describe the feeling I have right now. I’m just so happy for the boys that we got a sectional championship for the first time in 3A. I don’t want this feeling to go away. I’m on cloud nine; I’m the happiest man right now.”
Peterson hopes to make even more history Tuesday, and top off the Friars’ incredible playoff run with a trip to the state finals.
“It would be unbelievable (to get to the state finals),” he said. “Our team has done great. They’ve battled hard the whole time, and I’m so proud to play with these guys.”