Submitted by Benet Academy
Naperville Central fell 2-0 to the Benet Academy Redwings on Saturday afternoon in a much anticipated Fox Valley soccer matchup.
Benet (13-3-1) can add Naperville Central (13-3) to its list of high quality wins, which also include West Chicago, Peoria Notre Dame, Metea Valley and Carmel.
The Redwings came out strong with an offensive surge just minutes into the game. Deep in Redhawk territory, junior Joey Chiariello tossed a long throw-in to senior Benjamin Kucera of Burr Ridge. Kucera was able to head the ball to junior Alex Senak (Glen Ellyn) who netted Benet's first goal with 36:58 remaining in the first half.
Kucera also capitalized on a hand ball in the box with 22 minutes remaining in the second half. The Creighton recruit buried the ball in the lower right to give the Redwings the 2-0 lead.
Naperville Central was more consistent and played the better second half, executing some nice play combinations and putting several quality shots on frame. Benet goalie, Kyle Dal Santo of Bolingbrook, had five saves for the game. Two shots were destined for the back of the net, yet Dal Santo was able to lay out and send both shots just inches over the cross bar. Junior keeper, Mike Pavliga, had one save for Naperville Central.
Central was never able to score the equalizer, but put a good deal of pressure on Redwing defenders Brendon Gesior, Dan Coleman, James Coletti, Thomas Mojica and Robert Tomecek. The Benet defense can be credited for much of the team's success and has given up only two goals in the last ten games.
Today's matchup was also played without Benet senior forward, Hunter Miller, who was away on a college recruiting visit. Benet experienced a similar challenge early in the season as they faced Naperville North and Neuqua Valley without Kucera, who was visiting Creighton. Those games marked two of Benet's three losses for the season.
According to Benet Coach Sean Wesley, "As the season has progressed, the team has developed a great chemistry, and much of that has come through senior leadership on the field. They are a great group of kids who support one another and don't play as individual players." Wesley added, "This chemistry has been the difference between an ordinary season and an outstanding one."
Benet will face Downers Grove South on Thursday, October 13th and St. Viator on Friday. The Redwings are now 7-0 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference and are guaranteed a first place finish. A win over long standing rival St. Viator will ensure that they don't have to share that title.