HAMMOND | As a transfer from Lowell, Kyle Costa never experienced the sweet feeling of hoisting championship hardware as a member of the Red Devils soccer team.
The Andrean junior found the net for the only goal of the game as the 59ers edged host Bishop Noll 1-0 for the Class A Sectional championship. Andrean faces Wheeler in Thursday's semifinals of the LaVille Regional.
"The ball Mike (Gore) played in was just perfect," Costa said of his goal in the 24th minute. "I took a touch about two or three feet in front of me, then I just hammered it in the far post. It feels great to win a sectional."
Just like last time when the two Catholic school rivals met in the regular season, the game was a nail-biter all the way through.
"We knew it was going to be just like the first game," Andrean coach Pete Reist said. "They are extremely talented. They've got a lot of speed, possession and quick movement. Before the game Armando (Garza, Bishop Noll's coach) and I were talking. We both agreed whomever comes out of this thing will represent the area well. Obviously, we feel really good that it's us."
Following Costa's goal, both teams were denied several chances for goals, including a shot by Costa that deflected off the crossbar to almost give the 59ers an important insurance goal.
Both teams were renowned for their ability to rack up goals all season, so Reist was impressed with his team's ability to hold Noll scoreless for the second time.
"We played them twice, 1-0," Reist said. "These were two evenly matched teams that just went at it. (Goalkeeper Mike) Croux made a couple of big saves when he had to. Neither team left anything on the field today."
Bishop Noll (13-3) mounted threats for the entire second half, but the 59ers (15-3) held star forward Angel Zamudio and the rest of the Noll offense in check.
"We threatened a lot and had a lot of opportunities, but if you don't put the ball in the net, it isn't going to help out," Garza said. "We let these guys beat us to every ball. You can have all the talent in the world, move the ball nicely, have a nice cross, do all the fancy stuff. If you don't take a shot and put the ball into the net, it's going to get you nowhere."