Boys soccer: Vernon Hills rallies late, beats Deerfield
Down a goal with a few minutes left, Vernon Hills had a sense of urgency and found it with a pair of goals.
Valde Nambo set up the tying goal and scored the game-winner, as Vernon Hills got past Deerfield 2-1 in a Central Suburban North match in Vernon Hills on Thursday night.
The Cougars (7-3-1, 3-1) will next host Niles North for a shot at the title next Tuesday.
"We have struggled against New Trier, Evanston and Maine West with not great starts," Vernon Hills coach Mike McCaulou said. "I was just so happy that we showed resilience, fight and dug deep with every single player. We continued to press, press, press. No offense to Deerfield, they scored an early goal. That was on is defensively and they took advantage of us. For he majority of the game we dictated play. We had the ball and (Deerfield) did a great job defending for like 75 minutes. Both goals were phenomenal finishes."
Nambo fed Milan Raval that tied the match at 1-1 in the 76th minute. Then, three minutes later Nambo scored the winning goal off a short drop off pass from Andre Glamocak.
"I saw the defender come at me, so I took a touch and then buried it," said Nambo, who has 5 goals and 2 assists this season. "Since the first half we dominated with possession. Deerfield sat back in the second half and tried to defend the one-goal lead. We just kept pushing and the momentum kicked in. I was just fortunate enough to score the winning goal."
Déjà vu for Nambo as he also scored the game-winning goal in a regional game against Deerfield as a sophomore.
Deerfield (5-5-1, 1-2-1) had scored the opening goal just 51 seconds in the match when Cole Gawin scored in front of the goal. But the Warriors couldn't add on and had to try holding the one-goal lead the remainder of the match.
"I'm disappointed, but I'm not completely surprised," Deerfield coach Elliott Hurtig said. "(Vernon Hills) had the flow of the play and we were struggling to possess the ball. We were not playing with any kind of composure. If you're not playing with composure, then you're always chasing the game. Hand it to Vernon Hills, they were knocking the ball well, keeping us moving and we were able to hang in there."
The Warriors' keeper Daniel Simmons played exceptional by making 8 of his 12 saves in the second half.
"I was just worried about letting go the one-goal lead," Simmons said. "Sadly, in the last four minutes our defense couldn't hold the ball. We couldn't participate in the game and it took our minds out of it. I tried to keep their minds in it. But, the last two goals just happened."