Boys Soccer: Bloom slips past Crete-Monee 2-0
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media October 1, 2013 8:34PM
Updated: November 3, 2013 6:26AM
Bloom’s players always are extra amped up to take on rival Crete-Monee, knowing they’ll get their biggest test of the conference season.
“I definitely look forward to playing them,” Bloom’s Ricardo Aldape said. “They’re our rivals and we always go at it hard. We know it’s going to be good competition and a big conference game.”
Tuesday, the Blazing Trojans left no doubt as to which is the dominant team in the Southland Conference this year, getting goals from Aldape and Juan Elizalde for a 2-0 win in Chicago Heights.
The victory puts Bloom (11-4-2, 6-0) in command for the Southland title with a two-game lead over the Warriors (8-4-2, 3-2).
One of the biggest heroes for the Blazing Trojans was goalie Juan Carlos Ruiz, who was kneed in the groin area by a teammate early in the game but battled through pain to go 72 minutes, recording four saves.
Vicente Herrera went the final eight minutes to preserve the shutout.
“(Ruiz) has got guts,” Bloom coach Kelly Gutierrez said.
Ruiz made a pair of strong second-half saves to deny good chances for Jake Cogan.
“It was kind of hard because I didn’t know if (Cogan) was going to chip it or shoot it in,” Ruiz said. “I just had to hold my ground.”
The Blazing Trojans also got some breaks. Crete-Monee’s Fernando Aguirre hit the crossbar with a shot and Cogan fired a shot off the post.
“Our whole focus was just to get one goal and get some momentum,” Crete-Monee coach Julian Lagunas said. “We just couldn’t get one in. You have to credit Bloom’s defense, and sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way.”
Bloom struck first off a Warriors turnover. Elizalde came up with the ball in the corner and slipped a pass to Heriberto Gomez, whose cross found Aldape open in the middle of the box for the finish.
Elizalde put in a rebound for a 2-0 lead in the 32nd minute after Brandon Hannigan (8 saves) stopped Jose Sanchez’s shot.
Bloom defenders Alexis Resendez, Denilson Corona, Mark Mendoza and Marcos Figueroa helped preserve the shutout.