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Boys Soccer: West Aurora rallies to defeat Batavia

Nay Sirr (30) West Aurortakes ball off his chest as he holds off Nick Samperi Batavia. | JCunningham~For Sun-Times Media

Nay Sirr (30) of West Aurora takes the ball off of his chest as he holds off Nick Samperi of Batavia. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 29, 2012 10:23PM



West Aurora’s comeback kids did it again.

The Blackhawks have trailed in all three games they’ve played so far but have rallied each time to get a positive result.

The latest came Wednesday night, when West Aurora overcame an early deficit and a significant size disadvantage to knock off host Batavia 3-1.

“All 11 [Batavia] guys are taller than anyone we had, but these guys don’t care about that,” said West Aurora coach Joe Sustersic, whose team improved to 2-0-1. “They don’t care what the score is; they don’t care what the scenario is. They’re going to fight. That’s what I like about these guys.”

Batavia (0-3) grabbed a 1-0 lead with 28:18 left in the first half when a clearing attempt by Blackhawks goalie Alex Guillen hit the Bulldogs’ David Curnock in the face and ricocheted into the net.

But the visitors responded quickly, tying the game just 2:30 later when sophomore Jose Gallegos nodded a powerful header into the upper left corner of the net for his first career varsity goal. Junior Zak Flynn assisted on the play, lofting a short cross across the goal mouth after winning a loose ball.

“It feels good, the joy that it gave me,” Gallegos said. “Right when I saw the ball coming I just went for it. Nothing was going to stop me.”

Sustersic marveled at the play of Gallegos, who last year competed on the freshman team.

“He’s hit a few posts,” Sustersic said. “I told him he had the green light to shoot when [he] had the shot. That goal he scored was, holy cow, an upper 90 on a redirection.”

After Batavia missed a couple of open shots over the crossbar early in the second half, the Blackhawks took over and scored twice on counterattacks after making steals in the midfield.

Steve Rivera put the visitors ahead for good when he took a pass from Manny Gurrola on the right wing and tucked a 17-yard shot inside the left post with 30:07 remaining. Juan Cerda finished the scoring at the 12:41 mark on a similar play, drilling a shot off the underside of the crossbar for his fourth goal of the season. Daniel Rotolo got the assist.

“We were playing sleepy and the team always starts slow, but we always know how to come back,” Gallegos said. “We just passed the ball. We wanted to have control, we wanted to get them tired and we dominated them.”

“I thought we looked great in the first 10 minutes and the first 10 minutes of the second half we looked good moving the ball around,” Batavia coach Mark Gianfrancesco said. “I just think we get a little stagnant moving off the ball. We’re kind of hesitating so what we do with the ball in the final third, that’s where we’ve got to get better.”



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