Glenbrook North edges Maine South; Evanston falls
NORTHFIELD — Defense got Glenbrook North to the sectional round of the state tournament, and a defender put the Spartans into the championship game.
Brian O’Keefe’s goal with 22:02 to go in the second half Tuesday earned fifth-seeded Glenbrook North (14-4-5) a 1-0 win over second-seeded Maine South (14-5-4) in the sectional semifinals at New Trier.
The senior found himself in the middle of a scramble and was able to get enough of his foot on the ball to force it into the net.
“I just stepped in front of it and blocked it in,” O’Keefe said. “Right place, right time.”
Maine South did a great job of turning back two shots on goal in the box, but the Hawks were unable to clear the ball.
“That’s soccer,” Glenbrook North coach Paul Vignocchi said. “We got that rebound, and we were able to finish.”
The Spartans, who won their second regional title since 2006 last week, play fourth-seeded Lane on Saturday in the sectional final. Glenbrook North last captured a sectional championship in 2004 when the Spartans finished fourth in the state.
“Lane is a great team, but if you make it this far, you know you can beat anybody,” O’Keefe said.
The two teams tied 1-1 on Aug. 24. Glenbrook North also tied Maine South 1-1 earlier this season.
After winning their first regional title since 2009, the Hawks were looking for their first sectional championship since 2006.
Lane 2, Evanston 1 (OT)
Adalberto Rojas scored two goals, including the game-winner, Tuesday as No. 4-seeded Lane beat eighth-seeded Evanston 2-1 in the sectional semifinals at New Trier.
Gus Fleps gave the Wildkits a 1-0 lead before intermission, but Rojas got the equalizer early in the second half. Rojas then punched in the deciding goal in the first overtime period.
Evanston, which won its first regional title since 2009, finished the season 10-7-6.