Naperville North boys soccer erases early deficit to get past Romeoville in the sectional semifinals

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Naperville North boys soccer looks to get to another sectional championship game with the top-seeded Huskies taking on the defending state runner-up from Romeoville. The Spartans earned come-from-behind wins in both the regional semis and regional final against Neuqua Valley and Metea Valley to get to this matchup. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Spartans strike first

Romeoville looking to get off to a faster start than their previous games. The Huskies try to clear the ball on the deep throw-in, but Juan Jimenez flies in and drives one towards the net, but he misses just wide to the left.

A few minutes later, the Spartans have a free kick from about 20 yards out. Senior Manny Casillas delivers a perfect ball with his left foot into the top left corner. The brilliant shot puts Romeoville on top 1-0.

Naperville North looking for an answer with Sam Hess taking a free kick. Noah Radeke and Andrew Hebron try to knock it home, but Spartan goalie Alex Duda pounces on the ball to preserve the lead.

Later in the half, Colin McMahon lofts a ball to the middle but Duda dives to knock the ball free. The Huskies keep the ball in the zone but Jaxon Stokes does not hit his attempt cleanly and the ball spins into the arms of Duda. Romeoville heads into halftime 1-0.

Naperville North battles back in the second half

Huskies with a corner kick ten minutes into the second half. Josh Pederson puts the ball in a good spot as Sam Hess gets two cracks at the header attempt, but Kameron McShaw and Alex Duda somehow keep North out of the net. The Huskies can not believe it, but they get another corner as Pederson lines the ball up again. This time it’s Noah Radeke who gets his head on the ball and drives home the equalizer. Relief and excitement pouring from the blue and orange faithful as it’s a new game at 1-1.

A few minutes later, Radeke taps a pass to Jaxon Stokes who sends it back to his fellow junior. Radeke avoids the Spartans defenders and finds Tony Flores, who briefly hesitates to shake Duda before driving the ball into the net to give Naperville North a 2-1 lead.

Moments later, Naperville North looks to expand the lead. Radeke looking to continue is personal onslaught as he drives one on net but it hits the crossbar and bounces down without crossing the line. Flores tries to get the rebound but he can’t get enough of the ball as the Spartans stay within one.

Romeoville looks to get the momentum back with a corner kick. The ball gets redirected to the front of the net where Gavin Carrasco has a good chance, but Jack Bouska is not fooled as he makes to stop.

Final minutes of the game, Connor Hanrahan sends a high, lofting pass toward the Romeoville end of the field. Radeke times it perfectly and wins the ball while avoiding the offsides penalty. That leads to a two-on-one as Radeke slides a pass to Jaxon Stokes who puts the game away. Naperville North boys soccer uses an explosive second half to escape with a 3-1 sectional semi victory over a tough Romeoville squad. The Huskies advance to face rival Naperville Central in the sectional championship on Saturday morning.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!