Illineks' rally comes up short
MONTICELLO – Giving up apparently is not part of the curriculum taught at Urbana Uni High School.
Despite trailing by three late, the Illineks would not let up in their 3-2 sectional-final loss to Teutopolis on Monday.
"This is a team that has had ups and downs through the season," Uni coach Philip Anders said. "We've really come together over the last six games. These guys weren't going to let this go."
Uni trailed 3-0 with 16 minutes left in the match, but the Illineks were finally able to break through when junior Carter Hutchens connected on a header off a perfectly placed corner kick from senior Jake Seeley in the 64th minute.
Nine minutes later, Uni struck again as sophomore Daniel Lilly scored unassisted to draw the Illineks within one.
"This team has learned how to play this game smartly," Anders said. "They know how to manage space and pressure the ball. There are a lot of teams that play kick and run, but that's not soccer as far as I am concerned."
It was the second consecutive season the Illineks were able to reach the sectional finals.
"It takes a lot to be in the sectional finals down by three and to still make a comeback," senior captain Thomas Bozada said. "Overall though, it's all too reminiscent of our 2-1 loss last year to Warrensburg-Latham."
"I was extremely proud of the way we didn't give up," senior goalkeeper and fellow captain Issac Radnitzer added.
The loss finished an impressive postseason run that saw the Illineks producing shutout victories against Mount Carmel, Monticello, and Schlarman.
"My goal is to define Uni soccer," Anders said. "I think you saw a little part of it today."