A dangerous Davenport Assumption soccer team fell victim to the Beckman boys in a Class 1A Substate 3 semifinal game May 22 at Beckman, 2-1.
The win sent the Blazers to the substate final May 25 at noon again at Beckman to face Center Point-Urbana, a team they defeated 2-0 there May 16. (See story on page 1B.)
In direct contrast to the easy win in their quarterfinal game, the Blazers battled a full 80 minutes against the Knights. They began with a quick goal by Tom Jaeger, who capped a drive begun by Adam Wessels.
“I knew they would score on that,” said coach Mirek Laskowski. “I saw Adam make the move and when he sent it to Seamus (O’Connor), I knew Seamus would send a good cross to Tom who was running on the goal. It was a perfect cross and Tom converted.” This was 1:38 into the game, a surprisingly easy tally in the face of the pressure Assumption was bringing.
The Knights knotted the game 20 minutes later but it took just five more for the Blazers to go up 2-1. This was Jaeger again, “who follows his attacks so well, and he did it again. The ball bounced off the keeper but Tom came right in on it and the rebound went in. He never gives up on a shot,” said Laskowski.
That halftime lead meant the Blazers were forced to hold the Knights scoreless during an entire second half. Jacob Sadler in goal made “two absolutely amazing saves in the second half. He caught the tip of the ball laying out on one and turned back on a shot from another player on the other. He did a great job today,” said Laskowski. Sadler totaled eight saves for the game.
Getting shots on goal were Michael Keegan and Grover three, O’Connor two, Bryce Boekholder, Conner Grover and Logan Burchard one. “Adam (Wessels) didn’t score today but he handled the midfield, which the team depends upon, so well and distributed the ball where it needed to go,” added the coach. “Assumption was tough, they switched from defense to offense so quickly and handled the ball really well. This was a great game and the way we are supposed to play a game. And I’m very glad we won.
“I’ve said it before. The season consists of 16 games and we have been a team in progress all the way. Only the last three games have we had the same line-up due to injuries and a couple of penalties. When we played CPU that day, we had four or five key players missing for state track, one sitting out due to a red card. With a full team, we should be able to win this one, but every step to state is tougher than the one ahead of it. We will be ready Saturday for whatever CPU brings to the field.”