Boys soccer: Grayslake North, Vernon Hills settle for draw
The end of the regular season is fast approaching, and that means this is the time of the year for teams to be playing their best soccer.
Grayslake North has been riding a wave of momentum after earning a share the Northern Lake County Conference title and then posting an impressive shutout of Glenbrook South earlier this week. The Knights' opponent Thursday night, Vernon Hills, earned a 3-2 win over Lake Forest on Tuesday.
The Knights and the Cougars played an intense 80 minutes and settled for a 1-1 draw in a nonconference matchup in Vernon Hills.
The two teams could see each other again in the Class 2A Harvard sectional. Grayslake North (9-4-2) opens play against Wauconda in the Antioch regional next Wednesday night. Vernon Hills (7-8-3) hosts its own regional and will play Prairie Ridge next Tuesday.
"I'm very happy with this week's performances going into the playoffs," Vernon Hills coach Mike McCaulou said. "Offensively, we're keeping possession with our style of soccer. It was a good week to prepare for the playoffs. I think we're doing excellent and this should help the boys."
The Cougars got on the board first in the 20th minute. Glen McGowen crossed the ball near the top of the box, where Carlos Aguilar made a run and hit a shot into the back of the net.
"Coach always says the center-mids should always make runs to the top of the box," Aguilar said. "The ball was taken out wide and crossed in. Fortunately, I was there to finish it off. It was an important one for us to get."
Grayslake North's Will Meyer scored in the final seconds of the half to tie the score. He made a move from near the end line, worked his way back through a couple of defenders and finished.
"I had the ball on my feet and went for it," Meyer said. "The area just opened it. I thought I was going to run out of time and I wasn't going to shoot, but nobody stepped in to me."
The Knights have been playing good soccer of late.
"It's a big field and (Vernon Hills) was a competitive team," Grayslake North coach Adam DeCaluwe said. "They put in a pretty good performance, and we were on a our heels a little bit. We had a little lull in the middle of the season but have come back really strong."