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Eduardo Gonzalez's hat trick leads Huntley in rout

09/25/2013, 6:00pm CDT
By Gary Larsen

Eduardo Gonzalez scored three times to fuel Huntley's 7-0 victory over Woodstock North on Wednesday.

The offside trap Woodstock North threw at host Huntley worked to perfection for the first 10 minutes of the Fox Valley crossover on Wednesday, but for the Thunder faithful, all good things eventually had to come to an end.

Once the Red Raiders found patience against Woodstock North backline pushing up to midfield, Huntley put four goals on the board before halftime en route to a 7-0 win.

Huntley (12-1-1) senior Eduardo Gonzalez led the way with a hat-trick, followed by two goals from Niko Mihalopoulos and one apiece from Jack Bessey and Jakub Rys.

''The key against their high line was just timing our runs," said Gonzalez, who now has five goals on the season. "At first, when you see that kind of high line, everybody gets anxious and they want to jump in. 

"The key was definitely patience. Once we figured out the little combos in the middle and how we needed to make our runs, the game just went easy for us."

Gonzalez's first goal came on a through-ball from Mihalopoulos 13 minutes into the match, and he scored his second two minutes later when he followed up a Jason Zobott shot that was initially saved at the post.

Mihalopoulos and Jack Bessey each added a goal before halftime.

Wednesday's win came one day after the Raiders started slow against Prairie Ridge in an eventual 5-0 win, so a four-goal outburst through 40 minutes kept the Raiders' coach happy.

"I thought we came in with a lot more energy tonight but I felt like the first ten minutes was played in our half," Huntley coach Kris Grabner said. "But I think their high line is part of what caused that."

Once Huntley figured out how to beat North's (7-6) high line, Woodstock North goalkeeper Ricky Rodriguez essentially faced one breakaway threat after the next.

Huntley's Rayman Solis had a pair of assists on the night, "and the last two nights he brought a lot of energy, won a lot of fifty-fifty balls, and he's been winning the ball in the air real well," Grabner said.

Huntley plays a pair of Valley rivals late in the season, so the Raiders are aiming to keep their conference record clean until then.

"Crystal Lake South is a good team and Dundee-Crown  is a good team — I don't think they've been beaten yet," Grabner said. "Along with us, to me, it's probably those three teams that will decide the conference."

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Catherine Steegmueller

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