Overtime goal lifts boys’ soccer to regional final

Tuesday night the varsity soccer team took on Plainfield North at the IHSA regional semi-final hosted by PNHS. The Mustangs had their sights on winning a second regional in a row and the PNHS Tigers looked to play spoiler. Metea came in 12-5-2 on the season and Plainfield North was 11-8-1. It was the first matchup between the two schools. After 80 minutes, the score was tied at 0-0. Early in the first overtime senior Shareef Amor opened the scoring to make it 1-0. That would hold and Metea advances to play Oswego on Saturday at 11 a.m for the regional championship.

The first half was controlled well by the Mustangs, there were a few high-quality chances for them that couldn’t find the back of the net. Plainfield North goalie Alex Noser played a solid game. On the defensive end, senior defenders Anthony Sanchez, Spencer Collins, Owen Anderson, and Andrew Wang held it down. Helping junior goalie Gandhi Cruz with the shutout.

In the second Metea picked up where they left off and fired some more shots at the goal, but nothing would find the net. Plainfield North got their fair share of chances and couldn’t convert. The game got chippy from both teams’ yet no cards were issued until the final minutes of the second half. “Both teams wanted the win and at the end of the day it’s about who plays harder,” Amor said. “I knew that this game was about winning tackles and plays.”

Neither team wanted to end their season under the lights at Plainfield North. Big crowds came out for either side and bore through the cold to support. Finally, when Amor received a pass in the penalty box and knocked it through, a little bit of pressure came off the Mustangs and their fans. “Because we got that goal, we were able to relax, play more defense, and overall just have more composure,” Amor said.

The team didn’t let off the gas pedal in the second overtime period, keeping Plainfield North defenders working, and not letting their goalie get a rest. In desperation mode towards the end, Plainfield pushed at the Mustang defense one last time, a free kick was set up by an MV foul with just under two minutes to play. The ball came in but was deflected out, killing their chance. “The guys stayed composed and did a good job,” coach Josh Robinson said.

Varsity is shooting for a back to back regional championship game. They now have the week to prepare for Saturday’s game. “I think we’re a little bit battle-tested, we’ll get guys rested and get prepped for Oswego,” Robinson said.