The 2019 IHSA State Playoffs started on a typical late October day, with strong wind gusts as high as 25 mph and a temperature just under 50 degrees. We knew we would need to be sharp and control the things we could – our effort, our focus and our ability to not let the elements get to us.
After a string warm up, and with the wind at our backs, our boys came out ready to go and created a few quality sequences. A series of passes in midfield allowed CJ Steib to skillfully clip a ball onto the foot of Henry Wachsman, who streaked down the right midfield flank. The ball was delivered exquisitely, with a shade of backspin which kept the ball from sailing away from Wachsman. Henry penetrated a bit farther and then saw Junior Hernandez moving into the face of the goal area. Hernandez made an initial effort for the goal, which was denied, only to have the ball still on his foot. He would not miss the second attempt. With less than 5 minutes off of the clock, we were up 1-0.
A few minutes later, as the Scouts played back to their goalkeeper, CJ Steib elected to press high and managed to block the keepers clearance. The ball ricocheted left of Steib, who worked hard to get to it along the left side of goal. Junior Hernandez joined, but Steib elected to allow Hernandez to serve as a decoy, hoping the LFHS goalkeeper might play the cross. Steib blasted a ball just inside the near post, but the shot was saved and went out for a Bronco corner.
Lake Forest would come close to leveling the match when a terrific serve to the back post was chested down perfectly from one of their front line players, directly into the path of a hard crashing Scout forward, who found himself with an incredible chance from 6-8 yards from the goal. Fortunately for us, the ball sailed high and well over the goal.
During the remaining minutes of the first half, a few others would find their way to earning shots at the Scouts, with Junior Hernandez having two shots on target to lead the attack. Unfortunately, we could not add to the lead and went into halftime up 1-0.
Throughout the second half, with the wind now in our faces, we managed to string together several quality sequences of play, a few times connecting as many as a dozen passes as we probed. Brendan Lodl, Michael Horak, Efren Vega and Wachsman all worked hard to control the game, while the back line of Aidan Lew, Nate Horn, Jo Cidulka, and Hector Rodriguez not only stifled the Lake Forest attack, but also aided in our ability to possess the ball and control play.
With the play, we managed to score three second half goals as Steib, Wachsman and Chris Guerra all tallied. Wachsmans goal came from a wonderful passage of play with multiple Broncos moving the ball, sharing and creating. For the goals during this half, assists were credited to Cidulka, Horak, Niko Argyros, and Ben Yaney – Yaney’s first varsity point (well done Ben!)
The last twenty minutes saw the rest of the Broncos players get onto the pitch, and the game ended with our team earning our 12th shutout of the season. Lake Forest managed just 3 shots, while we tallied 21.
It was a solid opening effort from the whole team… so GREAT JOB BOYS!
GO BRONCOS! YNWA!
BHS — Junior Hernandez (Henry Wachsman, CJ Steib) – 9th minute
BHS — CJ Steib (Jo Cidulka) – 45th minute
BHS — Henry Wachsman (Michael Horak, Niko Argyros) – 55th minute
BHS — Chris Guerra (Ben Yaney) – 79th minute
Fouls: BHS 12, LFHS 9
Corner Kicks: BHS 4, LFHS 0
Offsides: BHS 3, LFHS 1
BRONCOS “MAN OF THE MATCH”