The Herscher boys soccer team took over the Rivals Cup tournament at Peotone High School for their pool-play games last week. The team took home three wins out of three games over the course of three days. They notched six goals during the competition and kept zeros on the opponent side of the scoreboard for every game leading up to the semi-finals.
The Tigers first took on Rich South and kept it close at 1-0 off a back-post curled shot from junior Bascom Jackson, until a second ball was pushed across the goal line by sophomore Trey Schwarzkopf with under a minute remaining in the second half.
The second match was a battle against Chicago Christian. The Tigers dominated on defense as they waited for the offense to produce. Senior defender Mason Robinson said, “Our communication and our offense has really improved as we progress deeper into the season, and that is what you want to see going into the final stretch of games before playoffs start.” Eventually the production occurred as Tigers junior wing Jace Martin finished a bouncing ball in the face of the goal. The Tigers held the Knights scoreless the rest of the match recording the second shutout.
The final pool play game was a more enthused match against Illinois Lutheran which ended with the Tigers third shutout in three games. Trey Schwarzkopf opened up the scoring on a follow up goal only a few minutes into the first half. Soon after that, Schwarzkopf slotted a ball through Lutheran’s back line to another Tiger who curled the ball to the back post, off the bar, and in.
To end the first half, Jace Martin finished another ball off a Tiger Corner. He said, “I feel relieved to be back in winning form. We’ve had struggles recently but we’re starting to find our groove. The goals I’ve scored are just a reflection of how the rest of the team is playing.” The half ended at 3-0, and the Tigers held the Chargers scoreless to end the game.
The Tigers comfortably advanced to Saturday’s championship round playing Illiana Christian in the semifinal coming away with a 3-0 loss, and defeating Kankakee to take home third place in the tournament overall. Senior keeper Jack Holohan and Junior midfielder Logan Lunsford earned all-tournament honors following the match.
The Tigers take on more 1A competition in the following weeks as they look to improve their record and confidence heading into the playoffs. The Tigers are seeking their seventh straight regional title.