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Coach: Mike Wiggins
Assistant coaches:
Brian Drelicharz, Marko Milincic
Michael Smith, Jack Ferraro
Dan Scheldrup
Ethan Gama So., GK
Wes Bergevin Jr., GK
Jimmy Walker So., M
Josh Meyer Sr., D
Sam Johnson Jr., F
TJ Schmidt Sr., M
Bryan Loebig So., M
JD Garnett Sr., M
Brenton DeGeer Sr., D
Max Krohn Sr., D
Christian Meyer Sr., F
Evan Floersch Jr., D
Brandon Kim Sr., F
Alex Knight Sr., F
Clark Grosshans Jr., M
Daniel Lillard So., D
Sebastian Skiba Jr., M
Jack Baderman Jr., M
Justin Yi Jr., M
Will McGowan Jr., D
Manos Proussaloglou Sr., M
Jack Niestrom Jr., M
Ben Norton Manager

Red Devils retain Silver Brick



By Matt Le Cren

Hinsdale Central’s 3-0 victory over Lyons Township on Saturday provided a crucial building block to what could be the Red Devils’ second consecutive West Suburban Conference Silver Division championship.

But for Lyons Township, it was, in the immortal words of Pink Floyd, just another brick in the wall.

The visiting Red Devils overcame a valiant effort by the Lions in a scoreless first half to score twice in less than two minutes early in the second half of the annual Silver Brick Game at Bennett Field in Western Springs.

It is the first time Hinsdale Central has beaten Lyons Township in back-to-back regular season games since 2001-2002 and leaves the Red Devils (11-0-2, 4-0) alone in the driver’s seat in the WSC Silver race. LT (7-2-3, 3-1), which still leads the overall series with Hinsdale Central 22-19-4, now must win its last two league games and hope either Oak Park and River Forest or York upsets the Red Devils.

“It’s important that the kids understand the history and tradition because it’s what high school athletics is; that’s what makes it special,” Hinsdale Central coach Mike Wiggins said. “What we talked about in preparation for this game is how many different players from the past have chimed in with phone calls and emails and text messages saying, ‘tell the guys we’re behind them 100 percent,’ and that’s pretty neat.

“These guys know that [they are] part of a special program and one that represents their community and want to do well in a game like this where we honor the community and the feeder programs that feed the high school program.”

After an uneventful first half that saw the two sides combine for only three shots, the Red Devils broke through after a halftime ceremony that honored hundreds of youth soccer players.

Senior Christian Meyer was held to only one shot and didn’t figure in the scoring, but the star forward got things going for the visitors when he sent a cross from the right side of the box that was punched out by LT goalie David Fiflis.

Unfortunately for the Lions, the ball went straight to junior midfielder Justin Yi, who took the ball off the bounce and fired home a 12-yard shot to give the Red Devils a 1-0 lead with 37:03 remaining.

“Christian Meyer did a great job,” Yi said. “It was just a matter of right place, right time.

It was Yi’s third goal of the season and without a doubt his most memorable.

“It’s a great feeling,” Yi said. “LT is obviously one of our biggest rivals. I guess it’s for the team. It’s not about me. I’m just glad that our team is working hard and we were able to stay calm and move the ball around the play great soccer.”

The large crowd was still settling down after Yi’s goal when the Red Devils struck again on another nice piece of teamwork.

This time junior defender Evan Floersch was the trigger, sending a 40-yard free kick from the left wing into the box to senior TJ Schmidt, who headed the ball over to senior defender Max Krohn. Krohn’s short shot in traffic found the back of the net for a 2-0 Hinsdale Central lead just 1:40 after Yi’s goal.

The twin strikes stunned the Lions, who had been air-tight defensively through the first 40 minutes.

“I’m not sure what they did,” LT coach Paul Labbato said. “I think their intensity stayed the same and out of halftime I felt like we were just a little bit more lax. It just felt like they quickly capitalized on a couple of slow movements by our players and all of a sudden the ball is in the back of the net.”

The fact that neither goal was scored by a striker – and defenders set up and scored the second – is a bad sign for Hinsdale Central opponents, seeing as how tough the Red Devils are on defense.

“Scoring is a fun time, so it’s always fun to get involved in the attack,” Floersch said. “Everyone on our team can put the ball in the back of the net, so that’s what makes us really good.”

Of course, it all starts with defense. The back line led by Floersch, Krohn, Will McGowen and Josh Meyer may not be flashy, but together they are a tough nut to crack.

“I feel like communication and accountability plays a big factor,” Floersch said. “Playing around guys like the ones I play around – Max, Josh and TJ – they all have a role on the team and they all step up when they need to.”

Together, they limited a Lions offense that had scored 34 goals to a mere six shots.

“I don’t think it was so much a great defensive effort as it was a consistent effort and that’s what we’ve been doing,” said Wiggins, whose team has allowed nine goals and shut out five opponents. “I think we were organized. I thought the guys held their roles. All in all, they stuck to their roles and they played them extremely well.”

“It was great work by the team,” Yi noted. “Max Krohn, Evan Floersch and Josh Meyer held them back and I think we pride ourselves on keeping that clean sheet.”

The Lions did have some opportunities but Hinsdale Central’s Wes Bergevin made five saves to become the first goalie to blank LT this season. That included a kick save to deny Matt Murphy on a breakaway midway through the second half.

“We had a couple opportunities to maybe make it 2-1 and make it interesting and their goalkeeping and defending was outstanding,” Labbato said. “We could not get that final shot on to goal.

“Their back line is so strong and if you can somehow break down the back line the goalkeeper is very good. Those were the opportunities we might have been able to sneak in and get back in the game and they just didn’t go in. They weren’t special enough to beat [Bergevin].”

Hinsdale Central sophomore Bryan Loebig finished the scoring when he made a steal and scored on a breakaway with 3:54 left after LT had pushed additional people forward.

Despite the loss, Labbato was pleased with how the Lions, who allowed only eight shots, began the game.

“Overall I was very excited with our first half,” Labbato said. “The No. 1 team in the state comes in and that’s the kind of first half you want to put together against the No. 1 team.

“You want to be able to be dangerous at points. We had action around their goal; we had limited action around our goal. In the second half you have to have that same momentum and we didn’t.”

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