Wheeling soccer looks to continue historic season with another title
by Alex Gleyzer, staff reporter
After a close opening round win in the sectionals playoff, the Wildcats will look to continue their success this Saturday in their Sectional championship game against Evanston.
The Wildcats will play for their third title this season, and more importantly, they will play for a birth in the super sectionals.
“We are used to these games now because we have been here before. Our offense is great and our defense is solid; we are confident about Saturday,” David Benitez, senior, said.
The Wildcats punched their ticket to the final matchup after a 1-0 victory over New Trier last Tuesday evening. Ivan Mancilla, senior, scored the lone goal for the Wildcats with an assist from Jose Garcia, senior. Over the past three games, Mancilla has recorded one goal and two assists.
“I try to prepare myself mentally and physically. I try to stay concentrated and relaxed before and during the game. We have a lot of talent in the offense. I know that if not one of us can capitalize, we have others that can help,” Mancilla said
Along with the offense, the defense has played strongly recording their third straight shutout. The Wildcats have not allowed a goal in 321 minutes spanning back to the MSL Championship game against Barrington on October 17.
“If we don’t get scored on, then we don’t lose. We are communicating a lot, and we know which players to stop,” Marino Lopez, senior, said.
Wheeling will play against the Wildkits of Evanston Township High School on Saturday afternoon at Evanston High School. The team looks to bring home another championship with a sectional title at stake on Saturday
The winner of Saturday’s match will go on to play the winner of Buffalo Grove and Barrington next Tuesday. The Wildcats, however, are just focused on one game at a time and hope to continue their stellar season.
“It’s a funny tournament. You need to get hot at the right time, get lucky at the right times and hope to not get unlucky at the wrong times. We know what to do to break down their (Evanston’s) defense, and we know that they have not played against an offense as potent as ours. This will be our toughest test so far, we just have to control all we can and perform the way we know we can,” Coach Ed Uhrik said.