Herrera's goal puts Dundee-Crown ahead of Crystal Lake Central, 1-0

  • Crystal Lake Central's Julian  Switzer, right, battles Dundee-Crown's Diego Granados in boys soccer at Crystal Lake Central Tuesday evening.

    Crystal Lake Central's Julian Switzer, right, battles Dundee-Crown's Diego Granados in boys soccer at Crystal Lake Central Tuesday evening. Patrick Kunzer for Shaw Local

  • Dundee-Crown's Gabriel Herrera, left, corrals the ball in boys soccer at Crystal Lake Central Tuesday evening.

    Dundee-Crown's Gabriel Herrera, left, corrals the ball in boys soccer at Crystal Lake Central Tuesday evening. Patrick Kunzer for Shaw Local

  • Crystal Lake Central's Julian  Switzer, left, and Dundee-Crown's Miguel Pena battle in boys soccer at Crystal Lake Central Tuesday evening.

    Crystal Lake Central's Julian Switzer, left, and Dundee-Crown's Miguel Pena battle in boys soccer at Crystal Lake Central Tuesday evening. Patrick Kunzer for Shaw Local

  • Crystal Lake Central's Daniel Vega, right, and Dundee-Crown's Alex Martinez, left, play in varsity boys soccer action at Crystal Lake Central Tuesday evening.

    Crystal Lake Central's Daniel Vega, right, and Dundee-Crown's Alex Martinez, left, play in varsity boys soccer action at Crystal Lake Central Tuesday evening. Patrick Kunzer for Shaw Local

  • Crystal Lake Central's Javier  Ramirez moves the ball as Dundee-Crown's Gabriel Herrera pursues in boys soccer at Crystal Lake Central Tuesday evening.

    Crystal Lake Central's Javier Ramirez moves the ball as Dundee-Crown's Gabriel Herrera pursues in boys soccer at Crystal Lake Central Tuesday evening. Patrick Kunzer for Shaw Local

  • Dundee-Crown's Gabriel Herrera, right, is greeted by teammate Diego Granados, after scoring Tuesday at Crystal Lake Central.

    Dundee-Crown's Gabriel Herrera, right, is greeted by teammate Diego Granados, after scoring Tuesday at Crystal Lake Central. Patrick Kunzer for Shaw Local

  • Crystal Lake Central's Danny Cubelic, right, battles Dundee-Crown's Gabriel Herrera, left, in boys soccer at Crystal Lake Central Tuesday evening.

    Crystal Lake Central's Danny Cubelic, right, battles Dundee-Crown's Gabriel Herrera, left, in boys soccer at Crystal Lake Central Tuesday evening. Patrick Kunzer for Shaw Local

 
 
Updated 9/27/2022 11:13 PM

Gaby Herrera's strong chemistry with his teammate and idol was on full display in Dundee-Crown's match against Crystal Lake Central on Tuesday.

The Chargers struggled to score for much of the match, but the sophomore's bond with Miguelangel Pena proved to be the difference after Herrera knocked in a goal off a pass from his teammate to lead D-C to a 1-0 win.

 

"I see Miguel as my idol because he's a senior, and I feel like I learned a lot from him." Herrera said. "We have a good connection when we play soccer. He always gives me good balls, and I always capitalize on them."

The goal came after 35 minutes of frustrating soccer for the Chargers (8-6-3, 5-0 FVC) where they dominated the time of possession and came up with different scoring chances but failed to score. D-C had three corner kicks and three strong shots on goal in the first 35 minutes but still were tied with Central.

The Chargers created a corner kick opportunity and Pena showed off his skill of putting the ball right where it needs to be, crossing the ball right where Herrera was, leading the sophomore to score with 4:31 left in the first half.

"Miguel has a knack for putting the ball right where it needs to be," D-C coach Rey Vargas said. "That's why he's taking them."

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D-C continued to attack offensively in the second half, but the Chargers couldn't finish those strong runs. It looked like Jacob Budys scored the Chargers' second goal with 21 minutes left in the match, but he was ruled offside.

The Chargers had two corner kicks and two free kicks in the second half, but they couldn't finish. Vargas thought his team had bad touches with weak shots and D-C couldn't adjust.

"I thought we kind of dominated, and we should've had more goals in," Vargas said. "That's the way it goes. I'm proud of the guys for grinding it out at the end and finishing strong."

Central (8-5-2, 2-1-1 FVC) coach Jay Schwarzrock thought his team did everything correctly to win Tuesday's match, but the Tigers couldn't score. The Tigers peppered Chargers goalkeeper Christopher Gerardo late in the match with a couple of corner kicks and free kicks but Gerardo and the D-C defense held on to keep Central scoreless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Gerardo finished with seven saves.

"It was just always something that we would shoot ourselves in the foot," Schwarzrock said. "The most disappointing thing of the night was that I felt like we had opportunities that we wanted to create, we were there, and we just didn't do anything with them. That's tough."

Central returns to Fox Valley Conference action when it plays Thursday at Crystal Lake South. D-C will host McHenry on Thursday.

Although Vargas wanted his team to score more goals Tuesday, the Chargers are off to a 5-0 start in the FVC and have momentum heading into the final stretch.

"We're getting toward the end of the season, and we're getting nice momentum going forward heading into the state tournament," Vargas said. "The conference race is still going here, and we have that in the back of our head."

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