Gil! Late heroics send KHS soccer to regional final Sat.
Photo: Alex Gil (right) celebrates his game-winning goal on Tuesday. Photo by John DiDonna
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—After struggling in the previous two outings against conference rival DeKalb, the Knights soccer team (12-6-1) triumphed on Tuesday night in Barb-land.
With 72 seconds remaining in regulation, the Knights’ midfielder Alex Gil took a pass from teammate Tyler Siebert on a breakaway and launched the shot to the right of an outstretched goalkeeper for the final 1-0 margin, setting off an ensuing celebration.
“Siebert played a great ball to me and I was just one-on-one with the defender, and I just wanted to get past him and have a quick shot,” Gil said.
It comes in stark contrast to the previous two losses in 2011 to the Barbs, and to last year’s postseason, where the regional champ Knights found themselves playing nine overtimes.
“I kept telling them ‘we can beat DeKalb’,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “Just be patient, and you’ve got to play 80 minutes, and it took us 78 minutes and 48 seconds to do it, and so we did it.”
Goalkeeper Marshall Farthing made key stops in the regional shutout, and supplied the Knights with a fighting chance throughout the match.
“The times that they had a chance, we came up big, and the wide field at DeKalb helps us with our game. It’s definitely nice to not play an overtime,” Farthing said.
Kaneland’s regional final test takes place on Saturday, Oct. 22, at DeKalb High School, with kickoff at 6 p.m.
The Knights’ 5-0 win over Sycamore on Thursday in the regular season finale marked their final Northern Illinois Big XII mark at 6-3-1.
Pedro Perez found the net for the 1-0 lead 25 minutes into the match. After the teams went to halftime, the Knights added a four-goal barrage to settle the matter.
Jordan Escobedo scored on two occasions, Kushstrim Ismaili, and Arsim Azemi had ball meet net in the second half.