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Boys Soccer: Kaneland tops Freeport in 2A sectional

Updated: November 26, 2012 7:19AM

STERLING — Kaneland coach Scott Parillo is finding history to be relatively itchy.

The 12th-year coach is again sporting a “playoff beard,” but unlike years past, the Knights finally scratched the itch of winning a sectional semifinal match with Wednesday’s 1-0 triumph over Freeport in the Class 2A Sterling Sectional.

“We’ve had three regional titles, but this is the first time we’ve made it to a sectional championship, so (itching) its a price I’m willing to continue paying,” Parillo said after his crew overcame a lethargic first-half and a literal last-second scare to get past the Pretzels (8-15).

“I guess we needed a wake-up call, so I’m happy we won, but this is not how a 16-3-2 team is supposed to play,” Parillo said. “I guess as long as we score one more than the other team it’s good, but I also know we have a lot of work to do.”

The Knights move into Friday’s 4:30 p.m. championship against United Township of East Moline, which defeated Rochelle 5-1. Kaneland has to keep an eye on Drew Meredith, the Quad Cities Metro area goal leader (27) who powered the Panthers to 20-3-3 with his third hat trick in as many post-season contests.

Freeport owned an 8-6 advantage for overall attempts and a 6-1 edge in on-target tries for the first half, but Kaneland finished the contest ahead in both categories, 15-12 and 9-8, respectively. The Knights, who now boast an eight-match win streak, got their match-winner with 20:12 left to be played thanks to a five-yard header inside the left post by Alex Gil. Sam Rymarz’s free kick was flicked to the far side by Jason Biddle, for the senior’s first assist.

“I was trying to line up a shot but ended up keeping the ball in play and seeing Alex put it away felt really good,” Biddle said.

“You always have to have a sense as to where you are in relation to the goal,” Gil said. “Sam played a good ball in and when the ball came my way, I knew if I turned around toward the goal I was in the right position.”

With 10 minutes to go the two sides exchanged near-goals on headers that sailed just wide of a post. With 4:06 remaining, Freeport’s Derek Czsyz pivoted for an 11-yard blast that Kaneland goalie Marshall Farthing smothered. The Pretzels remained on the attack to the very end as Logan Kuntz rocketed a shot from the right wing that Farthing fell on top of just before the final second ticked off.

“Their guy managed a shot that just appeared from in between two people and I was so glad I caught it and didn’t drop it,” said Farthing, who posted his sixth solo clean sheet while sharing one other shutout. “It’s really nice to do something that’s never been done before, especially since we’ve had some amazing (boys soccer) teams in the past. It’s a real honor, especially for us seniors.”

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