CARPENTERSVILLE – As the final horn sounded, the Dundee-Crown boys soccer team ran toward the sideline near the Chargers’ fans to celebrate.
Huddled together and jumping around after their 5-0 win against Jacobs, the Chargers made sure to cherish the moment. With the win, D-C claimed the outright Fox Valley Conference Valley Division title and finished the regular season 19-0-1. It is D-C’s first conference title since 2005, when there were no separate divisions, and only the second in the program’s history.
“The year, the chemistry has helped us more,” senior midfielder Salvador Rodriguez said. “We’re like family and that’s what helps us get through every single game. ... It’s been an incredible year for us.”
D-C missed a couple of chances to score in the first few minutes against Jacobs (6-13-1, 2-4 FVC Valley) and couldn’t take advantage of three consecutive corner kicks midway through the first half.
The Chargers finally broke through with 17:04 remaining in the first half on Rodriguez’s header off a free kick for a 1-0 lead. D-C tacked on another goal less than four minutes before halftime when senior forward Gerardo Escorza put away a goal off a rebound in front of the net.
The Chargers didn’t let up in the second half. Goals from senior midfielder Juan Ramos, senior forward Paul Buch and Rodriguez’s second of the game gave D-C a comfortable lead and secured a nearly perfect regular season. The Chargers’ only blemish was a scoreless draw against Hononegah.
D-C coach Rey Vargas said at the beginning of the season he wouldn’t have expected his team to finish undefeated. The Chargers open postseason play Wednesday against Larkin in the Class 3A Streamwood regional.
“We thought we’d hit some bumps in the road but we’ve been resilient and we’ve been able to pull off some wins that I was pretty impressed with,” Vargas said. “It’s continuing on through the season.”
Jacobs had a few opportunities off set pieces following fouls, but the Golden Eagles couldn’t capitalize. The Chargers’ defense limited any open space as Jacobs struggled to maintain possession. Jacobs coach Anthony Cappello believes his team will be able to refocus ahead of the Golden Eagles’ regional semifinal game Tuesday against McHenry in the Class 3A Crystal Lake South regional.
“We got caught defending a bit much, so we’ve got to attack,” Cappello said. “They’re good. They’re quick, fast, assertive and they put you on your heels. It’s a credit to how they played.”