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Courier-News boys soccer all-area team

11/14/2013, 7:30pm CST
By Steve Nemeth

Steve Nemeth lists his all-area team for the Elgin area, which is headlined by Player of the Year Nestor Ascencio.

Huntley's Niko Mihalopoulos (right) is a member of the Courier-News All-Area team after scoring 27 goals this season. | Michelle LaVigne/For Sun-Times Media

Nestor Ascencio

Streamwood senior midfielder

Notable: Headlines as 2013 Player of the Year. Area assist leader (19) led largely new varsity lineup to No. 18 ranking by Sun-Times and 15-3-3 record. Four-year starter leaves school with 72 career points (17 goals, 38 assists). NSCCA All-American also was two-time IHSCCA All-State and All-Area pick and three-time All-UEC River Division selection.

Eduardo Arellano

Dundee-Crown senior midfielder

Notable: Repeat All-Area pick moved from defender to midfield to boost Chargers to new heights with 19-1-1 record, No. 8 rating, unbeaten regular-season mark and Fox Valley Conference title. Encore recognition for IHSSCA All-Section and All-FVC. Had 43 points from 19 goals and five assists last two seasons.

Kevin Heinrich

St. Charles East senior defender

Notable: Anchor of backline for Saints, who were rated No. 1 over course of 20-2-4 season culminated in second straight sectional final. “Only question was can we stop the ball from going in the net (and) he was the influential leader in answering yes,” coach Paul Jennison said. Helped Saints post 16 shutouts.

Niko Mihalopoulos

Huntley senior forward

Notable: Area leader for points (64) and goals (27) resulted in IHSSCA All-State, All-Fox Valley Conference and Pepsi Showdown All-Tournament selections and launched Red Raiders (22-3-1) to as high as 12th in state poll. Tied school single-season scoring standard with 27 goals.

William Crozier

Genoa-Kingston senior midfielder

Notable: Led Class 1A Cogs to fourth-place state finish with 17-8-1 record. Named IHSSCA All-Section, unanimous All-Big Northern Conference and Third-Team Academic All-State. Captain had team-highs for points (36) and goals (15).

Matt O’Connor

Burlington Central senior midfielder

Notable: Earned IHSSCA All-Section 3 and unanimous All-Big Northern Conference status, ranking tied for fourth in points (45), fourth for assists (13), and seventh in goals (16). Rockets set school record at 22-3 and claimed second regional title, sixth league title (first undefeated) and were two-time Hampshire Tournament champs.

Gonsalo Garcia

Larkin senior forward

Notable: Driving force behind Larkin’s postseason string of upsets which led to first-ever sectional title. Two-time captain, known as “Pancho” tied for eighth in area points (39), with team-bests of 15 goals and nine assists as All-UEC River Division honoree.

Phil Legare

St. Charles North senior forward/midfielder

Notable: Named IHSSCA All-Section and All-UEC River Division. Led North Stars in points (21) and goals (nine). “A natural center back, we needed Phil to play forward and he was dangerous, scored goals and gave us a constant threat,” coach Eric Willson said.

Ben Stone

Dundee-Crown senior forward/midfielder

Notable: Ball skills, work ethic and field vision made him Chargers’ leader for points (30), goals (11) and assists (eight). Named IHSSCA All-Section and All-FVC. Three-year regular and captain made North Shore Shootout All-Tournament.

Sergio Blanco

Streamwood junior goalkeeper

Notable: Posted 645 consecutive minutes of shutout soccer in a span that included back-to-back blankings of unbeaten St. Charles East. Named IHSSCA All-Section and All-UEC-River Division. Produced 13 shutouts during best-ever 15-3-3 campaign. Allowed just 12 goals.

Tito Velazquez

Larkin senior defender

Notable: Ultimate lockdown for Larkin’s eye-opening run to first-ever sectional title. Royal defense yielded three goals in playoffs. Two-time captain awas coach Ken Hall’s “leader by example” and an All-UEC River Division selection.

Honorable Mention

Carlos Ramos (Dundee-Crown, Sr. D), Chris Lucatorto (St. Charles East Sr. GK), Eduardo Gonzalez (Huntley, Sr. M), Adam Smith (South Elgin, Sr. M), Sean Fitzgerald (Burlington Central, Sr. F), Adam Salowitz (Harvest Christian, Sr. D), Uriel Ortega (Genoa-Kingston, Sr. M), Zach Harbaugh (Harvest Christian, Sr. M), Robert Kleczynski (Westminster Christian Jr. F), Jakub Rys (Huntley, Sr. D), Matt French (Elgin St. Edward, Sr. M).

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