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Boys soccer: Wheaton South scores late to beat Marmion

Updated: November 18, 2012 7:05AM

Naperville North’s Huskies tamed their Tigers — as in Plainfield North — to the tune of a 4-0 whitewash while Marmion’s Cadets kept their Tigers caged until late in the second half before Wheaton Warrenville South escaped with a 1-0 victory.

That sets up a rematch of DuPage Valley Conference foes in Saturday’s noon championship. Regional host Naperville North claimed a 4-1 road win over WWS as the last victory in the Huskies’ previous six-match winning streak. Naperville North picked up a sixth straight win and improved to 15-3 on the year by blanking No. 15 Plainfield North (8-10-2).

The second semifinal was a much tighter back-and-forth battle as No. 6 seed Wheaton South (12-8-2) kept compiling opportunities en route to finally getting a match-winner with 10:46 left in regulation to defeat the 10th-seeded Cadets.

“They were playing a high trap and Javier (Rojas) made a great run to use the feed,” explained Tigers co-captain Max Carey, whose through ball turned into a 12-yarder tucked inside the left post.

“It was a great pass and I saw the opening and was able to get one-on-one with the keeper,” Rojas said in regard to his sixth goal of the season. “He was a little more right so I just tried to go inside the left post.”

That strike capped a second-half in which the Tigers either shot wide or high on several occasions in compiling a 13-7 advantage in overall attempts and a 7-3 edge in shots on frame.

“We knew they were well-coached and that we’d have to work hard to break them down and our timing would have to be near perfect,” WWS coach Guy Callipari said. “Their keeper was pretty aggressive and sure-handed, so we reminded the guys at half not to play against the clock, just stay organized and know that we had a good game plan.”

Wheaton South also had the benefit of playing in several tight contests having gone 4-2-1 over its last seven games, all of which were shutouts including the draw.

“In the second half, South proved to be more experienced and a little more skillful; it came down to a nice ball over the top and a good finish,” Marmion coach Ricky Del Toro said. “I thought the first half was a bit more even and both teams had their chances. Missing Jake (Hutchinson) was huge, especially for this type of game.”

The Cadet defender was sitting out as a result of red card from Marmion’s season-ending 2-1 loss to Wheaton Academy. That defeat snapped a 14-match unbeaten streak (12-0-2) for the Cadets, who ended the year 13-7-2. It also marked a first-round postseason exit in Marmion’s debut at Class 3A after having taken fourth place in the 2011 IHSA Class 2A finals.

“I’m very proud of this season since we had such a young team in contrast to last year,” Marmion senior Matt Switzer said. “The expectations weren’t very high and yet we were conference title contenders and I think contenders even in this contest.”

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