Seniors have played a central role in Kaneland’s success this season so it made perfect sense that they would come through on Senior Night on Oct. 9 in Maple Park.
Gavin Cano connected with Tucker Jahns early in the first half and Allen Dominguez dished a pass perfectly to fellow senior Garret Robinson late in the second half for some insurance as Kaneland beat its former long-time conference foe, Yorkville, 2-0.
“There were a lot of familiar faces and there’s always tension in these games,” Dominguez said. “It was nice to play them and beat them even though it’s now non-conference.”
Kaneland (13-6) wasn’t at its best and coach Scott Parillo let the Knights know it from the sideline.
“Nineteen games into the season and we still can’t get wide,” he barked. “I guess it was one of those games where you call it winning ugly. And we jumped on them right away and usually when we jump on a team we keep going and don’t let up. For some reason we let up. But it’s a victory. They can’t all be pretty. They can’t all be works of art.”
The goal from Jahns was certainly a beauty, as was the pass from Dominguez to set up the second goal,but missed opportunities between those two scores are the things that worry Parillo, whose team has a lot of talent and been successful already, but will have a difficult road in the playoffs.
“We were getting a lot of opportunities by going out wide and then taking on their backs and getting the cross in,” Parillo said. “But all of a sudden we’d shoot it right down the pipe and that didn’t work.”
Robinson acknowledged that the game was intense, and at times the Knights succumbed to the pressure and got away from doing what they do best.
“There was a lot of intensity and we had to start playing more as a team,” he said. “This is probably one of the best teams I’ve ever played with and just the connection with us seniors has been awesome. We came out strong but just faded before we finally woke up.”
As for the ball from Dominguez, it was about as perfectly placed as they come.
“It was a great ball by Allen,” Robinson said. “I just had the whole goal pretty much open. I just had to put it in.”
Yorkville (5-12) dropped its ninth straight game as the Foxes have struggled to find success in the Southwest Prairie Conference with just a single victory against Plainfield Central while being outscored 35-6.
“We’ve been struggling to string 80 minutes together and I think part of that is adjusting to the new competition,” Foxes coach Chris Palmisano said. “It’s a process and they battled today and just came out on the short end of the stick, which is going to happen.”
The Foxes pressed forward despite not converting any of its chances, nor getting a possible foul call in the box just minutes before Robinson’s insurance goal.
“We had several opportunities to get the ball on frame, but we just didn’t finish, and again that’s soccer and it happens,” Palmisano said. “It’s all a part of it, but the thing is, we have another game tomorrow (Senior Night versus Romeoville) and we’re going to come out and compete and try to get ready for the playoffs.”