Boys soccer: Latest Libertyville-Warren clash ends in scoreless draw

  • Libertyville goalkeeper Eli Johnson (00) makes a save at the net against Warren's Miguel Garcia (9) during Thursday's boys soccer game in Libertyville.

      Libertyville goalkeeper Eli Johnson (00) makes a save at the net against Warren's Miguel Garcia (9) during Thursday's boys soccer game in Libertyville. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Warren's Michael Galvan, left, and Libertyville's Alek LaRoi battle for control of the ball during Thursday's boys soccer game in Libertyville.

      Warren's Michael Galvan, left, and Libertyville's Alek LaRoi battle for control of the ball during Thursday's boys soccer game in Libertyville. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Warren goalkeeper Ethan Cole makes a leaping save at the net during Thursday's boys soccer game in Libertyville.

      Warren goalkeeper Ethan Cole makes a leaping save at the net during Thursday's boys soccer game in Libertyville. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Andrew Phillips, right, and Warren's Lucas Ahonen try to control the ball during Thursday's boys soccer game in Libertyville.

      Libertyville's Andrew Phillips, right, and Warren's Lucas Ahonen try to control the ball during Thursday's boys soccer game in Libertyville. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Warren's Michael Galvan (8) drives the ball down the field during Thursday's boys soccer game in Libertyville.

      Warren's Michael Galvan (8) drives the ball down the field during Thursday's boys soccer game in Libertyville. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Cole Danner (10) and Warren's Thomas Desanto leap for the header during Thursday's boys soccer game in Libertyville.

      Libertyville's Cole Danner (10) and Warren's Thomas Desanto leap for the header during Thursday's boys soccer game in Libertyville. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
By Mike Garofola
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/8/2022 9:59 PM

North Suburban Conference kingpins Warren and Libertyville continued their goal-scoring drought Thursday night at Walter R. Johnson Sports Complex, but that didn't mean these two longtime league rivals didn't give their fans a thrilling 80 minutes of soccer.

The two sides played to a 0-0 draw as neither club could find a way through for the second consecutive game to earn one point each in their NSC opener.

 

"It's a little frustrating to have most of the play and not come away with a win. But we did just about everything real well except score," said Libertyville senior Alek LaRoi.

LaRoi, along with teammate Cole Danner, were key figures for the Wildcats (2-4-1, 0-0-1) through their constant pressuring of the Blue Devils, and ability to create against a stubborn back line led by senior Ryan Stanciak.

"After a slow start in the first half, we had to defend a lot more than I thought we would have while not creating enough quality chances for ourselves," said Stanciak, who has taken over the spot as the Blue Devils central defender magnificently for his former all-state teammate, Cael Harris.

The home side had the brighter start of the two thanks in part to the work rate and energy provided from Andrew Phillips, Henry Bownas, LaRoi and Danner. They also had some outstanding work by their back line, which with Jake Berlowski getting forward on several occasions helped keep the Blue Devils (5-1-1, 0-0-1) in their own end during a handful of stretches.

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Despite this the visitors would get themselves into the game when it played through the trio of Lucas Ahonen, Tommy DeSanto and Matt Paraskos, who in turn looked to connect with leading goal scorer senior Miguel Garcia, who entered this contest with 10 goals.

"There were times when we defended more than we attacked (and) for a team that likes to attack, and has done so, we just didn't do enough to get quality chances at their keeper," said Paraskos.

The Wildcats' best chance of the night came in the 63rd minute when Phillips received a deep throw, turned, and was brought down inside the box. That sent the UW-Whitewater bound Wildcats captain to the spot.

Once there, however, his attempt went over the bar to keep this tense affair goal-less.

Moments later, on the other end, a nifty dummy of a throw by Garcia from DeSanto allowed the ball to find an unmarked Ahonen, whose effort on frame from 16 yards went over.

"It was a game we should have won (but) things are coming together for us, and I know we'll be in the conference race right until the end," said Danner.

Next up for the Wildcats will be Lakes this Saturday at 12:30 p.m., while the Blue Devils will prepare for another NSC power, Stevenson, next Tuesday in Lincolnshire.

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