Romans Upset Defending State Champs; On To Sectionals

Gaby Dago Guest Writer [caption id="attachment_927" align="alignnone" width="514" caption="2010 IHSA Regional Champion Latin Romans"][/caption] The stage was set for a great game: an illuminated moon hung in clear skies over the Romans and the defending class 1A State Champion Trojans of Timothy Christian as they lined up side by side for the national anthem. Both teams looked all business, as everyone knew that a Regional Title was at stake. The Romans started off strong, meticulously setting up threatening offensive plays that required key saves from Timothy’s goalie. On the defensive side, the four seniors of Ian Beihl, Robert Hunter, Henry Schreiber, and Ryan Kurtzman all showed determination, speed, and skill as they shut down many of Timothy’s attempted offensive attacks. Theo Atkinson, although injured early on, stayed in the game, and made spectacular saves. As the half wore on, it was clear Latin was losing some energy, and Timothy only elevated their play. With only a few minutes left in the first half, Timothy Christian scored on a quick transition play off of a throw-in. The Romans were displeased, but no one dropped their head. After some much needed rest, Latin looked to fight back. In the second half, the tides began to change. Mid-way through the half, senior captain Alex Dago took a pass from Miles Rosenblatt in the deep left corner, found a way into Timothy’s penalty box and was quickly surrounded by Timothy players who shoved him from behind. Was Dago acting, or was it a forceful push? Perhaps a bit of both. Nevertheless, he was awarded a penalty shot, which he buried into the bottom left corner and tied the game 1-1. Most teams would be content with riding the tie and taking the defending State Champions into overtime. The Romans are not like most teams. With 12:54 left in the half, freshman Henry Schuler played a beautiful ball forward to captain Sam Austin, who took advantage of a Timothy Christian defensive error and sprinted to the goal. From what appeared to be an impossible angle, Austin ripped a shot towards the bottom left corner. Their keeper dove, but could not reach it, and after hitting the post, the ball rolled into the back of the net. 2-1, Romans. The boys immediately fell back into their “Prevent Defense” formation, and after a very long 10 minutes, the final whistle blew. The defending State Champions were sent into their offseason, faces buried in their hands, while the Romans celebrated as they kissed their Regional Championship plaque. Up next for Latin is the Sectional semi-final, to be played this Saturday at Lisle at 3pm against Elgin Westminster Christian.]]>