Entering the day, our Broncos only had a slight heartbeat in terms of having a chance for a birth in the championship game of this year’s Barrington Classic. We needed help in the 5pm game with Rockford Boylan eyeing a possible spot in the final themselves. Our team and supporters were hoping for the Boylan v Lake Zurich game to end in a draw or a loss for the Titans; our wish was granted as Lake Zurich notched a 2-1 come from behind with over Boylan, opening the door for our boys to win our group with a win in tonight’s game vs. Jacobs.
Jacobs entered the contest atop the group after drawing 2-2 with Lake Zurich and defeating Boylan 2-1. They entered the match knowing that they would be the ones playing for Saturday night’s tournament championship should they get a win, or even a draw against us.
Obviously, this game was going to be a meaningful one from the very start.
The game got underway with both teams having sequences of play that lead to opportunities for shots, although neither team could break through. The best chances of the first half came from outside the box for both teams. The play was not as crisp as either team had enjoyed in the other group stage matches, likely a credit to the defensive pressure that each team placed on the other. It wasn’t sloppy either, but just contentious enough that neither team could create anything that would qualify as a high quality scoring opportunity.
In the second half, Henry Wachsman seemed to singlehandedly make sure that this game would not end without a goal for our Broncos. Just three minutes into the second half of play, Aidan Lew served a terrific set piece from near midfield all the way to the back post. Nate Horn contested the delivery, enough that the Jacobs keeper was unable to gain possession. A Jacobs defender was able to clear the ball, but only so far as Wachsman, who sent a blistering shot past the Jacobs keeper, just inside the far post and into the goal. His 20 yard blast was an incredible strike that the boys celebrated with high emotion. What a great start to the half, giving us a wealth of momentum to carry forward with.
Just four minutes later, Michael Horak boosted our lead to 2-0 on an exquisite curling shot which left the Golden Eagles goalkeeper with no chance and nothing to do but watch the ball fly into the far post side netting. Again, we could sense that this was our night.
We managed the game from here on, being clever with a little possession, and moving forward on attack when we felt it was wise. The game was sealed when Wachsman launched another cannon toward the Jacobs goal, which was too hot for their keeper to handle, leading to a point blank rebound chance for our workhorse defensive midfielder Brendan Lodl. Unfortunately for Lodl, he was hauled down from behind before he could take the chance. The official pointed to the spot and awarded us a PK, which Wachsman stroked nicely past the reach of the keeper; a very well take penalty.
We rode out the remaining 11 minutes of the match, with several key starters resting and fresh legs being deployed. A true team effort tonight, across the board. *And a special welcome back to Cale Wilson, who saw his first minutes of the season after being out since last winter with a torn ACL.
BHS – Henry Wachsman (UA) 43rd minute
BHS – Michael Horak (Niko Argyros) 47th minute
BHS – Henry Wachsman (UA – PK) 69th minute
Fouls: BHS 22, JAC 17
Corner Kicks: BHS 2, JAC 2
Offsides: BHS 0, JAC 5
BRONCOS “MAN OF THE MATCH”