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Boys Soccer: Naperville Central downs Metea Valley for sectional title

Naperville Central's PFlynn is congratulated by teammates after he scored goal against MeteValley Friday West Chicago.  | Terence Guider-Shaw~For

Naperville Central's Pat Flynn is congratulated by teammates after he scored a goal against Metea Valley on Friday in West Chicago. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media

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Naperville Central couldn’t have asked for much more Friday night.

The Redhawks broke the school record for wins by smashing Metea Valley 6-1 to capture the Class 3A West Chicago Sectional championship.

DePaul-bound striker Pat Flynn led the way, scoring two goals and adding an assist to break the school’s single-season scoring record. He now has 29 goals this season, two more than the old mark held by current Wisconsin junior Chris Prince, whose career scoring record he broke earlier this season.

“We talked about jumping on teams early and getting that rhythm and groove a little bit earlier,” said Naperville Central coach Troy Adams, whose team will play Edwardsville or Romeoville in Tuesday’s Normal Supersectional. “Before this game it’s always taken us 10 minutes to get our feet underneath us. We talked about the importance of going from the whistle straight through. Today they came out and did it.”

Sophomore Jordi Heeneman opened the scoring for the Redhawks (21-1) when he received a pass from Flynn, spun and blasted a 28-yard shot under the crossbar just 9:29 into the contest.

That opened the floodgates for Naperville Central, which twice scored a pair of goals within 90 seconds, once in each half.

“I saw an opening, just took my shot and I hit it as hard as I could,” Heeneman said of his sixth goal of the season. “It ended up really good.”

While top-seeded Naperville Central was a clear favorite against eighth-seeded Metea Valley, nobody foresaw the dominance with which the Redhawks played.

“I thought this game was going to be pretty close,” Heeneman said. “I thought we could probably if we played our best win by a couple goals, but not five. That surprised me a lot. We played one of our best games of the season.”

Junior David Murphy made it 2-0 when he volleyed a long ball from Michael Marchionna over the head of Metea goalie Gabe Gongora at the 14:08 mark. Central scored again 1:30 later when Mike West received a goal kick from goalie Mike Pavliga and quickly passed ahead to the sprinting Flynn, who rolled a beautiful finish under the arm of the charging Gongora.

“As you keep going on in the tournament it’s always a great time to keep winning,” Flynn said. “We went through it last year and we saw North fall last year in this game [in an upset to Central] and we knew we had to come out strong and we knew we could fall because if we took Metea as a weak opponent, they could beat us because they have a lot of weapons up top.

“Chris Freeman is really fast and we knew if we gave him time, which we did at the beginning of the second half, he would hurt us. So we were lucky that he only did it one time.”

Freeman scored on a long run up the middle to give the Mustangs (11-7-4) a glimmer of hope with 34:28 remaining, but the Redhawks pumped in three more goals in a five-minute span. Flynn blasted in the fourth goal off an indirect free kick in the box by West and then Sam Reskala and West scored 90 seconds apart to make it 6-1 with 24:03 to go.

“Congrats to Naperville Central for how well they played,” Metea Valley coach Josh Robinson said. “They’re a phenomenal team and good luck to them.

“I can’t be prouder of how hard our boys worked all year. To get in a sectional championship way surpassed the goals we were looking for. Third year of a varsity program and we’re already in the sectional championship. The seniors that are here have laid a foundation and I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for the school and for the community.”



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