Boys Soccer: Marist, Marian Catholic play to scoreless draw
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media October 9, 2013 8:02PM
Updated: November 11, 2013 12:19PM
After rolling to 11 straight victories, Marist finally will have to deal with a bit of adversity, and the RedHawks will have to get over Wednesday’s game in short order before playing their biggest match of the season Thursday.
The RedHawks walked off the field Wednesday without a win for the first time since Sept. 12 after playing to a 0-0 draw with Marian Catholic in Chicago Heights.
Marist still can win the East Suburban Catholic title outright if it can defeat a powerful St. Viator squad Thursday in Arlington Heights.
“We still control our own destiny,” Marist coach Sean Maxwell said. “We have to take some things from this and learn.”
The RedHawks (13-4-1, 6-0-1), who will try Thursday for their first outright conference title and first overall since 1982, controlled play Wednesday, but had all their chances thwarted by the Marian defense and goalie Chris Taborn (7 saves).
The Spartans (13-5-5, 2-2-3) had just three shots on goal but were typically tough on the defensive end and played to their second straight scoreless draw.
“Our fighting spirit was there,” Marian coach Nasser Shahtaji said. “Our intensity was the key. We had the desire to be first to the ball.”
Taborn, who recorded his 10th shutout, made a lunging save to deny Brian Greenfield’s shot with 23:08 left in the match.
That was as close as either team came to scoring, though the RedHawks nearly benefited from a wild deflection late in the game. A Marian clearing attempt went off a Marist player and nearly went in with Taborn out of the net, the ball sailing just over the crossbar.
“Our team worked together defensively and played hard to the end,” Taborn said.
Noah Kemp made three saves for the RedHawks, including a strong stop on a Alec Guarino shot four minutes into the second half.
Late in the match, Marist’s frustration was evident in some verbal spats between teammates. The RedHawks’ Eddie Cunningham knows it’s time to put that behind them.
“We have one game to win for conference,” he said. “It’s exciting. The school is buzzing. We have a group text between the team and it’s going off every night. It’s hard to think about anything else.”