Pirates blanked by LFA in Glenbrook North title match
CLICK TO SEE MATCH PHOTO GALLERY
CLICK HERE FOR PALATINE'S TEAM PAGE
By Dan Santaromita
Palatine did well to get to the final of Saturday's Glenbrook North Invite, but as coach Willie Fillian said afterward, that's where it ran into a buzz saw.
Lake Forest Academy thumped the Pirates 5-0 to take the tournament title in Northbrook. Earlier in the day, Palatine beat Bartlett 2-1 in the semifinal.
The Caxys, loaded with skillful players from around the Midwest, dominated the first 20 minutes and they had a goal to show for it when Jourdan Gooden half volleyed a cross into the back of the net.
Palatine (11-5) settled into the match late in the half and was able to create a few dangerous set pieces. However, it didn’t have a goal to show for it and went into the break down a goal.
“There were patches, 10-15 minutes before the end of the first half and midway through the second half, where when we were organized and tackling well they weren’t playing as well,” Fillian said.
“For us we found out that we need to sustain that and I’m disappointed that we can’t against a good team like this.”
With the Pirates hoping to keep the positive play coming out of the break, LFA got a fortunate break to get the second goal in the third minute of the new half.
A Caxys free kick put the ball in the area, but Palatine looked to have handled the danger and attempted to clear the ball. However, the clearance hit LFA's Callum Bishop and bounced straight into the net.
A goal like that was a sign that it wasn’t Palatine’s day.
“After getting a quick one scored on us we kind of just fell off,” sweeper Kyle Clancy said. “We were just afraid to make the mistakes, which pretty much led to more mistakes and more goals.”
From there the floodgates opened. The Caxys scored a pair of goals a minute apart before the hour mark to make it 4-0.
The fourth goal came on a similar bad break after Evan Held made a nice stop on a breakaway, but the ball bounced off a defender back into the net.
Despite the score line, Held (11 saves) played well against a barrage of shots and made a number of sliding saves to stop breakaways.
“He made the saves he could have made,” Fillian said. “Our goalkeepers are only going to get better if they see that kind of stuff. We won games in the beginning of the season four and five to zero where they rarely saw the ball.”
Held made a crucial save on a penalty kick against Bartlett to keep that match tied at one with less than 15 minutes left. The Pirates scored the game-winner a few minutes later to advance to the final against LFA.
Towards the end of the final, Fillian put in some younger players, including some freshmen recently brought up to varsity.
Palatine created a few shots on goal down the stretch, with Piotr Karpierz usually in on the act, but Bishop added the fifth goal with about 10 minutes left.
Fillian would have liked to see his team play smarter, but the Caxys were not going to be denied on this day.
“We try to pride ourselves into not letting teams do what they like to do and we let them play the way that they like to play,” Fillian said. “We never made it uncomfortable for them to possess the ball.
“They held the possession well, they had us chasing and wasting a lot of energy without the ball. They’re a fantastic team and I think on a different day we might give them a little bit better of a game than today.”
The Pirates, who came up short in their own tournament and seemingly out of the race in the Mid Suburban League West, are now only left with the playoffs for a chance to win a trophy.
“We don’t have like a set goal, but if we play with our most potential, 100 percent, I think we can do some damage and get some trophies,” Clancy said.
Palatine returns to league play on Tuesday against Wheeling.