CRYSTAL LAKE – No goalkeeper likes giving up a goal, but the next best thing is when his teammates respond with a goal of their own mere seconds later.
After Crystal Lake Central scored the opening goal in the 11th minute Tuesday, Crystal Lake South’s Alex Canfield responded with a goal 38 seconds later.
“We like to pick each other up as fast as we can,” Gators goalkeeper Carson Hill said.
South scored twice more on its way to a Fox Valley Conference win over Central, 3-1, on Tuesday under the lights at Central's football stadium.
South’s Garett Schneider scored three minutes after Canfield’s goal to put the Gators ahead. Canfield later added his second goal in the 67th minute to give his team some breathing room. South (11-3-4, 5-0-1) remains on the heels of Jacobs (10-3-3, 6-0) in the FVC standings with three games remaining each.
The Gators put an emphasis on the minutes immediately after a goal.
“The next five minutes are extremely huge,” Canfield said. “A lot of times, when a team scores, they kind of let their guard down. Those next five minutes are really the time to push through and try to get one back.”
Canfield scored his second-half goal on a throw-in from teammate Jake Bimbi. Bimbi, who is a pitcher on South’s baseball team, launched the ball from the sideline into the box, where Canfield flicked it backwards with his head.
Canfield said they work on the play often in practice.
“It’s kind of crazy, honestly, that he can throw it that far,” Canfield said. “I think it has a lot to do with his baseball. He can throw very hard in baseball. His arm strength.”
Hill made seven saves in the contest. Central (8-5-2, 4-3) kept him busy, especially early on.
“I saw a very fast-paced team that wanted to go at goal,” Hill said. “They were going right back at us when they had chances.”
The Tigers’ Mason Pfeifer scored Central’s goal on a free kick from teammate Jake Nelson. Central’s Joey Moore made eight saves in the game.
“We had our opportunities,” Central coach Jay Schwarzrock said. “After the first 10 minutes, I was worried that we were going to sit back on our heels and not bring the fight. After a while, we worked through our shell shock and we started working as a team.”
The loss snaps a five-game win streak for Central, which included FVC wins over Hampshire, Cary-Grove and Huntley.
"I’ve got to give credit to South; they’re a very good team in the air," Schwarzrock said. "They’re relentless. They don’t stop. That was the big difference."
STAR OF THE GAME
Carson Hill, Crystal Lake South, sr, GK
Though he gave up an early goal, Hill made seven saves in the Gators’ victory.
38: South's Alex Canfield responded with a goal 38 seconds after Central scored to go up, 1-0, in the first half.
AND ANOTHER THING …
At 5-0-1 in the FVC, the Gators remain behind Jacobs (10-3-3, 6-0 FVC) in the conference standings. The two teams square off on Tuesday at South. Every other team in the conference now has at least two losses.