Boys Soccer: Naperville North’s lockdown ‘D’ tames Lyons

Naperville North’s defenders have proven adept at preventing goals through the first two games of the season.

They’re pretty good at scoring them, too.

The No. 11 Huskies (2-0) have scored four goals thus far and three have been tallied by defenders.

Senior Matty Sylvester and junior Kevin Keane both scored their first varsity goals and goalkeeper Christian Robert recorded his second shutout as Naperville North blanked No. 8 Lyons 2-0 in Naperville on Thursday.

“I think the MVPs of these couple games have been the defense,” Robert said. “They’re really limiting [opponents’] opportunities and keeping them to a low amount of shots, which makes it easier.

“I think today is a testament to that. LT definitely ranks higher than we are and we found a way to pull out the win.”

Naperville North scored both of its goals in a 2:05 span in the first half, both off set pieces.

The first came with 25:27 left in the opening half when a long throw-in bounced into traffic in the middle of the Lyons’ box to Keane, who had time to settle it before blasting a 12-yard shot past LT goalkeeper Donald Darrus.

Two minutes later, sophomore Chris Sullivan launched a corner kick from the right side that skittered to Sylvester, cutting across the middle to the near post. Sylvester hit a one-timer back across his body and the shot rolled past a diving Darrus.

“Chris Sullivan played in a great ball,” Sylvester said. “Last game he made an adjustment. He told me before the game to hit it differently.

“I usually try to flick it back with my heel every time, but this time he told me just hit it forward and put it on goal and hope it goes in, and it went in. Those misdirections just catch the goalie off guard every time.”

Well, not every goalkeeper. Robert, who made five saves, made a good reaction to stop a wickedly bouncing shot late in the second half and that wasn’t even his best stop of the night.

That came four minutes before Keane’s goal when he rushed off his line to smother a breakaway by Cole Gilchrist, who got in alone thanks to a perfectly timed feed from Patrick Duncan.

“That’s something I’ve been working in the offseason a lot is my quickness and getting off the line,” Robert said. “Every once in a while the defense has a little lapse and that’s what I have to do is come out and extinguish all the threats.”

The Huskies did so in impressive fashion against the Lions (1-1), who were held to two shots in the first half and seven overall after routing Young 6-1 in their opener on Tuesday.

“I mistouched it a little bit but [Robert] came out really fast,” Gilchrist said. “I tried to get it over him but he got a hand on it and made a good save.

“He was quick. I definitely had to try to get used to his speed at the start. I tried to adjust to it later in the game but just couldn’t put one away at this time.”

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