By Matt Nestor
The Boylan Titans led six area teams in boys’ soccer competition at the Indiana State Cup soccer tournament held at the ISC in Rockford.
Along with the Titans, Guilford, Hononegah, Keith, Rockford Christian and Winnebago also competed in the tournament.
The Titans led the way for the area teams, finishing 3-0 in the first three rounds to make the semifinals of the tournament before losing in that round.
Boylan defeated Crystal Lake South 3-1 on Friday night and followed that with 3-0 victories over both Dunlap and Springfield on Saturday to get into the semifinals.
The tournament called for one game Friday night for each team, followed by two more on Saturday. For the two teams to make the finals, it could be a total of four games on the last day.
“This is a grueling, demanding tournament,” Boylan coach Chris Mera said. “So it’s good to get three good games and see some things we need to work on.”
Once Boylan made it into the semifinals, they ran into eventual tournament champion Hersey, who defeated the Titans 2-0.
“I think the coach scouted us really well,” Mera said. “We’re a very offensive team, and we have a young defensive line. I think he knew that he had a bigger team, and if he played defensively and got his opportunities on counter attacks, that they would have a chance to win the game.”
Boylan spent much of the game with the ball in Hersey territory, unable to cash in. Mera said that the goal keeper played a pivotal role for Hersey.
“They have a very good team and a very good keeper,” he said. “I think they put a lot of pressure on us to push a lot of people forward. I think their second goal was the result of us pushing a lot of people forward to try and tie the game. We had a lot of opportunities, and it just didn’t happen for us today.”
Hersey went on to beat Niles West on penalty kicks in the championship. Hononegah also went 2-1 in the tournament and lost a close game to Niles West for a spot in the semifinals.
From the September 26-29, 2009 issue