Boys Soccer: Lyons eliminates Argo
By Patrick Z. McGavin For Sun-Times Media October 22, 2013 11:14PM
Matt Murphy took the nerves off in the opening moments.
For the start of the state tournament, Lyons looked across a very familiar opponent, an Argo team it defeated 4-0 on Thursday in its final regular-season game of the year.
“I think it got everybody nervous,” Lyons midfielder Harry Hilling said. “Nobody wants to see an upset, and we came out positive and we were ready to play.”
Murphy scored one goal and assisted Hilling on an insurance tally as Lyons continued its dominant play with a 2-0 victory over Argo in a Class 3A regional semifinal Tuesday night in Western Springs.
The fourth-seed in the loaded Hinsdale South Sectional, Lyons (15-2-3) captured its eighth consecutive victory since the Lions lost to top-ranked Hinsdale Central 3-0 Sept. 28. The Lions have outscored the opposition by a stunning 34-2 and recorded six shutouts during the streak.
Murphy’s hustle play off a ball played by senior forward Frankie Kocimski in the opening minutes provided the early lead for the Lions.
“We knew what they had,” Murphy said. “That always takes the early pressure off when you get an early goal like that. You have to give (Argo) credit.
They did a good job of bouncing back. A lot of times when one team scores early like that, it takes a lot out of the other team, but they really turned it around.”
Lyons dominated every phase of the game. Still, Argo (8-8-2) had a potent weapon of its own to draw on with goalkeeper David Warciak. He recorded eight saves, several of the spectacular variety, gloving a ball or knocking a Hilling free kick that bounced off the crossbar. He denied two rocket balls by Murphy in the first half.
The Lions have alternated three keepers on the year in massing the 10 shutouts. Peter Nolan stopped star stopped two Argonauts shots to preserve the 1-0 lead at the break. “We didn’t want to get lulled into a false sense of security,” Murphy said. “That’s what happened to us last year when we lost to Fenwick (in the regional final).We were overconfident, and we were looking ahead to the next game.”
Lyons sustained its offensive pressure in the second half. Kocimski drilled a ball in the 42nd minute that hit off the crossbar. The constant pressure and a Lyons’ specialty, Kocimski’s talent at throw-ins. “It helps to have somebody who can throw it 20 or 25 yards into the box, it’s like having a corner every time,” Hilling said.
Murphy flicked the throw in and Hilling finished it off in the 45th minute for the important second score.
Lyons coach Paul Labbato won his school-record 131st career game.
He has been emphasizing his team meeting the rigors of a one-game playoff.
“Our main focus has been toi play the same every game and to keep the focus,” Murphy said.
“That’s all we are worried about at the moment, keeping the focus.”