A look at the 13 All-Area Soccer First and Second Teams we've selected
SPRINGFIELD – As Centennial goalkeeper Andy Drackley trudged off the field following a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime defeat Tuesday, the dejected freshman had a hard time keeping his head up.
But one mention of the strides his team made this fall – and the possibilities that await the young group next season – put a brief smile on his face.
CHAMPAIGN – If all goes according to their plan, Centennial's Chargers will hit a milestone in today's Class 2A super-sectional soccer match.
A victory would be the program's 300th and serve as an appropriate accomplishment for a group that has worked hard to uphold a sparkling tradition.
CHAMPAIGN – From the moment the referee's whistle blew, signaling a penalty kick for Centennial during the third overtime of Friday's Class 2A sectional final, the outcome no longer seemed in doubt.
It was Jacob Bushue's time.
CHAMPAIGN — Due to sloppy field conditions at Mahomet-Seymour, Friday’s Class 2A boys’ soccer sectional championship match between Centennial and Springfield was moved to the University of Illinois campus, Centennial athletic director Brian Easter said.
MAHOMET – Mud or no mud, Centennial's Chargers managed to play a clean game in Tuesday's 4-1 victory against Mahomet-Seymour in the Class 2A soccer sectional.
They might as well have been playing in a bowl of spaghetti. Competing on a field that was hosting its fifth match in eight rainy days, the Chargers (15-9-1) sloughed off the conditions and a sluggish start to advance to Friday's 5 p.m. final against Springfield (17-7). Weston Hornbaker and Thair Al-Saqri scored late in the first half for Centennial, and Andy Dudley and Garrett Sommer added second-half goals to open a 4-0 advantage.
MAHOMET – At the time, it might have seemed like icing on the cake.
As it turned out, the goal Joel Clark scored to give the Mahomet-Seymour boys' soccer team a 3-0 lead spelled the difference in Saturday's Class 2A regional title match.
URBANA – After 120 minutes of scoreless soccer, Centennial goalkeeper Andy Drackley – a freshman – had ample reasons to feel anxious.
Consider: It was a postseason Battle of Champaign – a physical, high-intensity matchup against Champaign Central with a Class 2A regional championship on the line.
CHILLICOTHE – Lois Cryder always will wonder what might have happened had the weather and field conditions been different.
The reality was that her Monticello boys' soccer team saw its season end Thursday night on a rain-soaked and mucky pitch. Tucker Fields' goal with 6 minutes, 23 seconds left lifted Rochester to a 1-0 victory against the Sages in the Class 1A Chillicothe Sectional semifinals.
URBANA – If Centennial soccer coach Imants Jaunarajs ever needed proof his team was more than just Jacob Bushue, he got it Wednesday in the Chargers' Class 2A regional semifinal against Ur-bana.
With Bushue, the Indiana recruit and Centennial's leading scorer, on the sideline visibly sick, senior Thair Al-Saqri snuck a header into the net off a corner kick by Ben Flodstrom with less than two minutes remaining to send the Chargers to a 2-1 win.