Boys soccer: Fremd offense explodes in sectional win over Stevenson
Fremd stole the show in an electric 12-minute offensive display of soccer which produced a four-goal explosion for the top-seeded Vikings (17-2-1), who went on to defeat No. 5 Stevenson Tuesday night in a sectional semifinal game at Hildebrandt Field in Palatine.
Junior Leo Akashi's double three minutes apart broke open a tightly contested contest that was even at 1-1 before Caden Statz and Will Mayer put the finishing touches on an eventual 5-1 victory.
Next up for the Vikings will be Mid-Suburban League rival Barrington Friday in the sectional final at 6 p.m.
"I didn't play very well in the first half so it felt good to come out and get us those two goals after the break to help us get a big win," said Akashi, whose sensational 12-yard strike in the 53rd minute, followed by an angled masterpiece from the right side, was all the home side would need to reach the final.
"I felt after we got even after the half that we were right back in this game but those two quick goals, and two more after that, coupled with their physical strength, maturity, and veteran experience proved a little bit too much for us tonight," admitted Patriots coach PepeJon Chavez, whose club finished this season with a sparkling 15-3-4 overall record.
The Patriots, who fell in their last two regional finals in 2018 and 2019, canceled Eli Schoffstall's sensational opener just before the intermission on a wonderful one-timer by Daniel Saltzman, who drove his low blast from the right side into the far inside netting.
"We let them get back into the game after having control of things in the first half, but Leo's two quick goals would provide the motivation, and inspiration we needed to get back and front of the game, and get the win," said Schoffstall, who was recently named MSL West Player of the Year.
When the ball fell perfectly to Statz after the Patriots blocked a close range attempt by Schoffstall, the senior steered in the fourth goal of the evening in the 57th minute, before Mayer closed out the scoring when he followed in a wicked drive off the bar from Dimitri Vhalos.
"We're a much better team than the final score would indicate -- but Fremd is a well-coached team with some very talented players and our hope is to be back in this game next season, only to have a better result than tonight," said Chavez.