Washington boys soccer coach Al Perez calls it the "best season ever" for his Minutemen. Now he hopes it can get even better.
"This is usually about as far as we go," Perez said after the Minutemen (17-1-2) cruised past Illiana Christian 4-1 in the championship game of the Class 2A Rich East Regional. "This is the first team I've coached that made it past a regional.
Perez has been coaching at Washington since 1995.
Misael Martinez scored two goals, and Gabriel Martinez and Christopher De La Paz each scored for Washington, which led 2-0 at the half, and later 3-0 before Illiana Christian finally got on the board.
Jaime Prado started in goal for Washington before being relieved by Edgar Torres in the second half.
"Jaime is a very good keeper, but he's also an excellent defender," Perez said. "Our defense is a little bruised up, so we elected to put him in there in the second half to help keep us fresh for the next game."
Washington advances to the Lemont Sectional where it play the Lemont Regional winner (No. 1 seed Lemont or Oak Forest) at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The championship is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29.
The only loss the Minuetmen suffered this year was to Kelly in the Public League championship on Oct. 15.
"And that was a tough way to lose," Perez said. "We played them to a 0-0 tie and then we lost in a shootout."
Earlier in the regional, Washington shutout Rich East 7-0 and Illiana Christian advanced past Tinley Park 3-1.
H-F, Marian players eliminated: The season finally came to an end for Homewood-Flossmoor and Marian Catholic in Friday's round of the IHSA girls tennis state meet in the northwest suburbs.
H-F singles player Adesuwa Osabuohien and doubles team Faith Huckabee and Dana Shannon both lost a pair of matches after each going 3-0 on Thursday. Gaby Rosales of Marian managed to win her consolation match to stay alive, but then went on to lose her second match of the tournament and was eliminated.
Homewood-Flossmoor finished with 16 team points, which had it in 10th place after Friday. Rosales accounted for all of Marian Catholic's 5 points, which was good enough for a 43rd place tie with 13 other schools. Lake Forest leads all teams with 36 points ahead of Hinsdale Central (32) and New Trier (31) going into today's final round.
Osabuohien suffered her first loss of the tournament to Keisha Clousing of Wheaton-Warrenville South by a score of 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, before enduring another three-set setback to Maddie Lipp of Lake Forest, 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-2, in the consolation round.
Huckabee and Shannon were stopped in straight sets by Haleigh McPeak and Elizabeth Zordani of Lake Forest, 6-3, 6-3, and then were eliminated by Whitney Young's tandem of Kate Ushakova and Syedah Cabel, who were shutout in the second set after taking the first, but managed to recover in the third (6-4, 0-6, 6-4).
Rosales bounced back in the consolation round with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Kelsey Chin of Metea Valley, but then lost to Haley O'Connor of Maine South, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Lincoln-Way West 38, Thornwood 20: Thunderbirds (4-5, 2-5) fell in the SouthWest Suburban Red and saw their playoff hopes end.
Cahokia 49, St. Francis deSales 20: The Pioneers (2-7) fell on the road to the Comanches.