152 W. Biesterfield Road,
Elk Grove Village
Phone 847.956.1818
Fax 847.956.4848

Coach: Mike Taylor
Assistant coach: T.J. King
Tom Martin Sr., GK
Aaron Tres Jr., GK
Javier Romero Jr., M
Kevin Klinkenberg Sr., M
Miles McDonnell So., D
Mateo Leudo Sr., M
Spencer Moore Sr., M
Zach Gyuricza Jr., M/F
Ryan Carroll Jr., D
Chris Beiersdorf Jr., D/M
Ryan Henry Sr., M
Jack McNamara Sr., M/D
Ethan Wolf Sr., D/M
Nick Eschbach Sr., M/D
Aidan Williams Jr., F
Jon Surdam Sr., D
Kyle Koss Sr., M/D
Mark Tun   Sr., D
Nick Winter Sr., M
Woojin Son Jr., F
Joseph  McCollum Jr., D
Jason Ziolkowski Sr., D/M
Kevin McMahon  Sr., M
Dominic Perrone Sr., F

Lions ready for Marist following eighth-straight win


By Matt Le Cren

Saint Viator wasn’t at full strength for Wednesday’s East Suburban Catholic Conference match with host Notre Dame.

The Lions weren’t exactly at their best, either.

But those shortcomings and a terrific effort by the Notre Dame defense were mere speed bumps in the path of the Lions, who cruised to a 4-0 victory in Niles to run their winning streak to eight matches.

Saint Viator (13-3-1, 5-0) now has won 10 of its last 11 matches heading into Thursday’s first-place showdown with Marist (14-4-1, 6-0-1) in Arlington Heights.

“We’ve been possessing the ball really good,” said Saint Viator senior Nick Winter, whose hat trick increased his team-leading goal total to 15.

“We outwork every team we play. It’s been the story all season that we just need to finish the opportunities that we get and just put the ball in the back of the net. We should have bigger victories.”

The victories the Lions have been racking up are plenty big enough. They’ve outscored their opponents 47-5 during the winning streak and have completely dominated the midfield.

They did so against Notre Dame despite being without starting playmakers Spencer Moore and Mateo Leudo. The two seniors sat out to rest minor injuries.

“The [midfielders] are very dominant this year and it’s nice to do it when you’ve got two starting midfielders not even playing,” Saint Viator coach Mike Taylor said. “So it’s nice to know that you’ve got the depth to do that.”

After an uneven opening 10 minutes, the Lions slowly gained control and soon took up residence in the Notre Dame penalty area for most of the duration.

The Dons (3-8-3, 1-5-1) tried everything they could to get rid of them, but the visitors were like pests, coming at goalie Robert Hill in waves.

Hill was under siege all night and made 11 saves to prevent the game from getting out of hand early.

The Lions led only 1-0 at halftime on the strength of Winter’s first goal, which came off a cross from Kevin Klinkenberg at the 20:56 mark.

Saint Viator changed its tactics to start the second half and it soon paid dividends. Hill made three straight difficult saves before Winter ended the sequence by chipping a shot over the prone senior and into the net with 36:58 left.

That erased any doubt as to what the outcome would be as the Dons crossed midfield on only a handful of occasions after that.

“It’s good that we get the opportunities, but I think second half we started playing better,” Winter said.

“The first half we started playing their game and pushing the ball over the top trying to get our forwards onto it when we should have been possessing more. But hopefully tomorrow against Marist we can possess more and outwork them.”

Taylor, of course, always would like more production from his troops but was satisfied with the output.

“I thought we started off a little sloppy but once we got back to playing our style we were fine,” Taylor said.

“At the beginning of the game we played a little rat race with them and I was like, ‘Why were they dictating the pace of the game to us?’ It is better off we dictate the way we play.

“[The Notre Dame] goalie played well. The goalie was aggressive and might have got lucky on a few. We drove a couple straight at him. He’s got to be hurting because we drilled him with three or four.”

The Lions were so dominant that at times they had seven or eight players in the Notre Dame box and were clinically dissecting the defense.

Winter finished his hat trick with 26:19 left by heading home a cross from Aidan Williams, a shot that traveled maybe a couple of feet, and Klinkenberg capped the scoring with 5:00 remaining on a tap-in off a cross from Jack McNamara.

All told, the Lions outshot the Dons 24-2, including 17-0 after intermission. Goalie Tom Martin made both of his saves before the break in recording his side’s 10th shutout, six of which have come during the current winning streak.

Everyone agrees the dominance begins with the midfield.

“Kevin Klinkenberg is playing really good right now,” Winter noted. “Ethan Wolf is playing good; he’s been getting those long throws that we've just got to get a head on and finish them.”

“We just have really good chemistry,” Klinkenberg said. “We’ve been playing together since we got here and we have a good system and we know what to do. We know our roles.

“I’m more of a distributor. I just try to switch the ball from side to side to Kevin McMahon and then create chances for Spencer and our front-runners, Nick and Aidan.”

By taking care of business in this one, the Lions now owns the edge in the ESCC race over Marist, which upset Benet Academy 2-0 last week but settled for a scoreless draw with Marian Catholic on Wednesday.

Saint Viator controls its own destiny with three games remaining. After playing the Redhawks, it plays at Joliet Catholic Academy on saturday amd hosts Benet next Friday.

“Overall it’s a sluggish performance but we came off a good weekend and I think we’re looking toward tomorrow’s game so that’s a big game,” Taylor said.

“We know [Marist is] undefeated, we’re undefeated so whoever wins that game tomorrow is in the driver’s seat at this point. So I think [the Lions] were looking forward to that a little bit but we didn’t lose the mission here.”


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