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Fenwick seniors put away St. Joseph in boys soccer

Friars focused on winning CCL Green, preparing for state playoffs

October 3rd, 2017 10:57 AM

Fenwick's Tommy Reardon (7) head butts the ball on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, during a soccer game against St. Joseph at Priory Park in River Forest, Ill.(Alexa Rogals/Staff Photographer)

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Scotty Gruszka

Contributing Reporter

The Fenwick High School boys soccer team celebrated Senior Night with a 4-1 win over St. Joseph on Friday, Sept. 29 at the Priory in River Forest.

Four seniors each scored a goal for the Friars, who apart from a counter-attack goal by St. Joseph, dominated possession and the match.

"We played well and we were able to move the ball around and play out of the back," Fenwick coach Rob Watson said. "We could have scored a couple more goals, especially towards the end of the game. Overall, we put together a great game."

Entering Friday night's contest, the Friars held an 8-7 record with a 4-1 mark in the Chicago Catholic League.  While the first part of the their CCL schedule consisted of Green Division opponents, the Friars now face Blue Division opponents which will provide some of their toughest competition.  

Their only CCL loss occurred last week against St. Ignatius at the Priory. The Wolfpack edged Fenwick 1-0 with a goal from the penalty spot.

Fenwick bounced back well against St. Joseph, controlling possession and breaking through the Chargers' defense with apparent ease.  Senior midfielder Tommy Reardon had great runs up the right side of the field, but a counter-attack from St. Joseph in the 10th minute shocked the Fenwick defense and gave the Chargers a 1-0 lead.

Fenwick didn't need long to answer. A minute later, Alex Sanchez's corner kick found Kyle Arquette who headed in a goal to tie it all up at 1-1. In the 20th minute, a handball just outside of the box led to a free kick for Fenwick. Senior captain Mariano Mollo almost curled it in, and with the ball bouncing around the box, senior Sean Mitchell buried the goal to put the Friars ahead for good at 2-1.

The first half wrapped up with Mitchell getting tripped up in the box after dazzling the St. Joseph defense. Reardon stepped up to the penalty spot and placed the ball into the bottom left corner, extending the Friars' lead to 3-1.

Fenwick moved the ball around and held on to possession for most of the second half. Senior Mike Cerceo drilled one into the net with eight minutes to go to bring the match to a 4-1 finish.

Looking ahead, Fenwick travels for its final three games of the regular season. Courtesy of their strong start in CCL play, the Friars have the inside track to repeating as CCL champions in consecutive years for the first time since 2013-2014 if they can finish up strong in the remaining weeks.

"We certainly need to win out," Watson said.  "Winning the CCL is possible but Loyola, Mt. Carmel and St. Laurence are at the top. We need to beat them."

The playoffs are looming on the horizon for Fenwick. The Friars begin postseason play on Tuesday, Oct. 17 in regionals. The challenging back-end of matches this season will surely prepare the Friars for the intensity of the state playoffs.

 Reardon isn't fazed about the upcoming slate of matches.

"It gets us ready and builds us up (for the playoffs)," Reardon said. "Even with a loss, there is something to take from it and then we come back harder in practice."

In recent years, Fenwick has had success in the state playoffs. The Friars are looking to bring home their first sectional championship in boys soccer since 2013.

Fenwick travels to St. Laurence on Thursday, Oct.  5 for a 6 p.m. match. The Friars close out the regular season with a match at Mt. Carmel on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 4:30 p.m.