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Boys Soccer: St. Laurence outlasts Tinley Park

Lincoln-Way West's Ian McGrath (9) shoots ball against Washington. | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media

Lincoln-Way West's Ian McGrath (9) shoots the ball against Washington. | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 25, 2012 11:39AM



St. Laurence never has won a sectional title in soccer.

Thanks to an offensive outburst in the first 25 minutes Tuesday, the Vikings are 80 minutes away from making history.

St. Laurence blitzed a stunned Tinley Park squad with three early goals and held on for a 3-1 win in a Class 2A Lincoln-Way West Sectional semifinal.

“We’re feeling it right now,” the Vikings’ Alejandro Unzueta said. “Everything’s clicking at the right time.”

Riding momentum from winning their first regional title since 1998, St. Laurence (14-6-1) dominated the opening minutes.

After putting a header off the crossbar moments earlier, Unzueta broke through in the seventh minute, making a strong run down the sideline and scoring.

“That gave us all the momentum,” Unzueta said. “We showed we had control.”

Unzueta added an assist moments later, flicking a pass ahead to Alex Rodriguez, who finished with a high shot.

Josh Niloff dribbled past a defender and scored to make it 3-0 with 16:57 left in the half.

Tinley Park (13-13-1), which set a school record for wins, made things interesting in the second half.

Mikey Swierczewski got the Titans on the board, poking home a rebound off a Trevor Rolette free kick with 17:05 left.

Tinley Park pressured the rest of the way, but Swierczewski had a header saved by Dan Hecker (3 saves) and the Titans came up empty on four free kicks.

“We were still high from the regional title and we wanted to come in confident, but not cocky,” Tinley Park coach Mike Boniface said. “I think it was the opposite. But this was a historic season in many ways.”

The Vikings, meanwhile, hope there’s more history to be made.

“I think the kids are starting to believe they can play with anybody,” St. Laurence coach Nate Grosse said. “We’ve just got to keep it going.”

Washington 2, Lincoln-Way West 0: Rafael Alarcon and Gabriel Martinez scored to lift Washington (14-1-1) into the title game. Lincoln-Way West finished 14-9-3.



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