Giving up two goals in the first nine minutes of Tuesday’s Windy City Ram Classic quarterfinal against Kennedy wasn’t exactly what Bloom had in mind, but the Blazing Trojans knew they had plenty of firepower to overcome the rough start.
“We really didn’t lose confidence,” Bloom’s Juan Elizalde said. “We just kept fighting and we stayed strong.”
Elizalde and Ricardo Aldape each had a goal and an assist and Bloom pulled off a nail-biting 3-2 win at Reavis.
Bloom (3-0) will meet crosstown rival Marian Catholic in Wednesday’s semifinals.
Eduardo Manzo scored three minutes in and – after Cesar Flores answered for the Blazing Trojans – Daniel Lopez blasted a free kick from 35 yards out off the bottom of the crossbar and in to give Kennedy (2-1) a 2-1 lead early.
“Kennedy was very quick and very strong,” Bloom coach Kelly Gutierrez said. “From our first few games, our guys were used to being the faster team. I don’t think they were ready for Kennedy’s speed. It was good that our kids didn’t panic, because I thought they might.”
With two minutes left in the first half, Aldape chipped a pass ahead to Juan Elizalde who streaked down the right side of the box and fired a shot off the inside of the near post and in.
Kennedy surged early in the second half, but could not score as Vicente Herrera came up with a couple big stops.
With 11 minutes to go, Aldape – who returned to the team for his senior season after playing with the Fire Academy the last two years – came up with the game-winner.
Elizalde had his shot blocked and it bounced out to Aldape, who was moving forward into the box but being pressured by a defender. Aldape managed to get a shot off and beat Manuel Esparza (7 saves).
“We’re slowly getting better every day,” Aldape said. “We should be a tough team to beat.”
Marian Catholic 2, Fenwick 0: Alec Guarino scored both goals and Chris Taborn recorded his fourth shutout as Marian Catholic (4-0) prevailed. Fenwick fell to 2-1.
Solorio 2, Reavis 1: Matt Mulica scored off an assist from Jose Estrada for Reavis (2-1). Damian Salgado and Jesus Martinez had a goal each for Solorio (3-0).