The parity between the Hillsboro and Lincolnwood boys soccer teams has been evident for years and Monday’s contest in Hillsboro was no exception as the two rivals tied 1-1 in the Shoal Creek Shootout.
With a 3-0 win over the Lancers in the Kickoff Classic on Route 66 already to their credit, Hillsboro took the wind to start the game and looked to jump on Montgomery County’s other orange and black team from the first whistle.
Ethan Lentz sliced through the defense and put a hard shot on goal that was saved by Lincolnwood goalkeeper Gabe Armentrout in the opening seconds. Lentz, Will Christian, Gavin Matoush and Logan Murray would keep Armentrout busy for the first 10 minutes of the contest, but it would be a shot from deep that would get Hillsboro on the board first.
After controlling the ball just outside the Lincolnwood box, Matt Page drilled a 25-yard wonder strike toward the far post, which hit the under side of the crossbar and bounced in for an almost unsaveable goal.
Up 1-0, the Toppers pressed for more, with Lentz nearly hitting a bicycle kick on a loose ball, before the shot skirted out of bounds. Matoush and Christian also had chances, but the Lincolnwood defense and Armentrout prevented any further damage.
The Lancers’ chances would be fewer and further between, but a little luck helped them tie the game with 18 minutes to play.
Levi Weir worked his way past the defense and put a hard shot on goal near the goal line. The shot would deflect past Hillsboro goalie Mitchell Lowe as the score now stood at 1-1.
Lowe’s aggressiveness to the ball would keep Lincolnwood from any further scoring in the half and Hillsboro would not be able to add any either as the score remained tied at halftime.
The second half would yield opportunities for both teams, but nothing Lowe and Armentrout couldn’t handle.
The closest scoring chance came late in the second half when Lincolnwood’s Mason Stauder riffled a shot from just inside the 18-yard box that seemed destined for the top corner. Lowe leapt and knocked away the shot, though, and Hillsboro would clear out the ensuing corner kick to keep it even.
The two teams could meet again in the postseason as both are in Sub-Sectional B of the Carlinville Sectional. Carlinville, Pana, Vandalia, Newton, Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond, St. Anthony, Robinson and Teutopolis are also in the sub-sectional, with Lincolnwood and Altamont this year’s regional hosts. Seeding for the regionals will be complete by today, Sept. 23, with the top four seeds split up.
Sept. 20 at Hillsboro
Lincolnwood 1 0 - 1
Hillsboro 1 0 - 1
Scoring: Lincolnwood - Levi Weir 1; Hillsboro - Matt Page 1.
Records: Lincolnwood (5-5-1); Hillsboro (8-4-1).