CHAMPAIGN — No way was Urbana University High going to take Judah Christian lightly in Friday’s Class 1A boys’ soccer regional championship match.
“I’m always paranoid of having a bad day,” Illineks coach Phil Anders said. “There’s always that risk you’ll go in overconfident.”
Expecting to see St. Thomas More — which handed the Illineks one of their two losses this season — on the turf field at Illinois, Uni High instead played another C-U rival in the Tribe. The outcome never was in question, the Illineks winning 8-2 for a second consecutive regional title.
Uni scored 16 goals in two regional romps.
“There’s no secret — I wish I could say there was,” Anders said of the scoring binge. “We have experience. The chore of this team has been playing together since they were freshmen.”
Uni (18-2-1) has eight players back from last fall’s team that advanced to super-sectional.
“We have an opportunity to do what we did last year but take it a step farther,” Anders said. “But there are things that have to go right on the field and off the field as well: schoolwork, you have to stay healthy, stay focused, minimize mistakes and take advantage of opportunities.”
Uni will play the winner of today’s match between Manteno and Illinois Lutheran in Wednesday’s sectional semifinal at Schlarman.
Anders said Manteno is the “toughest opponent we will see all season.”
On Friday, Tarik Koric and Patrick Wong each had three goals and two assists. George Voulgaris scored twice as Uni raced to a 6-1 halftime lead.
Those three have combined for 60 goals this season.
AJ Ellis had six saves as Mahomet-Seymour beat host Normal West in penalty kicks in a Class 2A regional opener. Tyler Moxley scored off a pass from Aaron Penick for the Bulldogs, who were tied 1-1 after two overtimes.