The University Men's High School soccer team moved onto the Sectional Semifinals of the IHSA 1A playoffs on Friday night after beating Roanoke-Benson High School 7-0. Before beating Roanoke, UHigh had to first beat Calvary Christian High School (9-0W). This is the second year in a row that the Pioneers have won their Regional. Their match on Wednesday night will be against Princeton High School at 7pm in Chillicothe (IVC High School).
A thrilling ending capped off a great comeback victory for the UHigh Pioneers on Thursday night at Dunlap High School. Cayden Redd knotted the first of his 3 goals 20 minutes into the game when he settled a JD Kelley throw in and hit a left footed shot. The ball rang off the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. With two minutes left in the half, a bad bounce went Dunlap's way and the game was tied at 1-1. Immediately afterwards, Dunlap scored again to make the halftime score 2-1. With 12 minutes left, UHigh's Jett Jenkins, Mason Wittman, and JD Kelley worked the ball up the left side of the field. Kelley found a streaking Redd with a cutting pass into the box and Redd finished the play, making it 2-2. With 1 minute to play, the Pioneers wrestled for possession in the Dunlap end. Jenkins found the ball at midfield and slotted a pass out wide to Kelley who immediately crossed the ball. Redd was again in perfect position as he headed the ball into the back of the net. UHigh held on for the remaining minute to win 3-2. The Pioneers next game is at home on Saturday against United Township High School (East Moline). The JV plays at 2pm with the varsity to follow.
The Pioneers looked to rebound from their first loss the season when Quincy Notre Dame came to town. The game was battle from the very beginning and UHigh scored first off of a corner kick. Mason Wittman played the corner into the box and Matt Mier headed it on goal. The Quincy goalkeeper made the intial save but Nate Clay banged in the rebound. UHigh had a couple chances to go up 2-0, including a PK that was saved by the QND goalie, but they could not extend their lead. Quincy found a chance late when a hard shot was saved by Christian Lopez but the rebound was put away, ending the game at 1-1. UHigh plays again on Monday night at Mahomet-Seymour High School.
UHigh JV: 2-1W. Goals by Nik Klauss and Michael VanPlew
UHigh lost their first match of the season on Thursday night on the road at Rochester High School. Rochester jumped out to the early lead when a shot from the left side beat Pioneers goalkeeper Christian Lopez. UHigh tried to fight back in the second half with several close calls but could not find the net. The game ended 1-0 in favor of Rochester.
UHigh JV: 3-2W. Goals by Nate Torres (2), Amit Sawhney.
The Pioneers faced visiting Springfield Sacred Heart Griffin on Wednesday night at home. In the first half, UHigh quickly jumped to a 2-0 lead when Nate Clay took a Cayden Redd pass, beat an SHG defender, and struck a left footed shot in the lower left corner. Soon after Clay's goal, he assisted on an open netter by JD Kelley. UHigh pressed the action even harder but hit the post 3 times in the first half. In the second half, JD Kelley struck again. Cayden Redd settled a missed SHG pass and slotted a through ball to Kelley who curled it around the SHG goalkeeper. SHG scored a goal late in the match and it ended 3-1. UHigh plays on Thursday night at Rochester High School.
UHigh JV: 2-0W. Goals by Nate Matheis and Michael VanPlew.
On Saturday, the Pioneers faced Washington High School at Community Fields after the UHigh Soccer Field was deemed too dangerous to play on after heavy rains the night before. Both teams came into the event undefeated (UHigh at 4-0-3 and Washington at 6-0) and very motivated. Washington got on the board first, scoring 10 minutes into the match to make it 1-0 at halftime. In the second half, UHigh quickly equalized on a corner kick when Cayden Redd poked in a loose ball that was played in by JD Kelley. With 12 minutes left, goalkeeper Christian Lopez had a monster punt that skipped past the Washington defenders right to JD Kelley on a breakaway. Kelley finessed his shot around the Washington goalie to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Pioneers. UHigh held Washington off for the final 12 minutes and earned their 5th win of the season. The Pioneers play Springfield Sacred Heart Griffin at home on Wednesday night (Varsity at 4:30pm, JV at 6:00pm).
Pioneers and Ironmen Share InterCity Tournament Championship
Sep 5th, 2016 (8:00 pm)
After beating Central Catholic 8-0, the UHigh Pioneers found out that they share the InterCity Championship with Normal Community! A 1-0 NCHS win over Normal West guaranteed that NCHS and UHigh share the title in the round robin format, both ending with records of 2-0-2. This is the second straight year the Pioneers have won InterCity. Through the last two years, the Pioneers have not lost an InterCity match with a record of 6-0-2.
For the second straight game, UHigh earned a draw against a crosstown rival after being down at halftime. Two early goals by Normal Community put the pressure on the Pioneers on the road and they did not respond until Josh Friesen scored his first tally of the season with just ten minutes remaining in the first half. Jett Jenkins played a nice ball on the ground across the box for Friesen to finish. In the second half, the Pioneers went down 3-1 early because of a quick goal by NCHS. JD Kelley immediately responded when he poked a Mason Wittman pass around the NCHS goaltender making it 3-2. With 20 minutes remaining, Nate Clay raced for a ball in the NCHS box when he was taken down and a penalty kick was awarded. Cayden Redd buried the shot and tied the game at 3-3. The final minutes saw some chances missed by both sides, ending the match at 3-3. UHigh is in action again against rival Central Catholic at home on Monday (4:30pm).
On Wednesday night, UHigh and West battled to a 2-2 draw in a very heated contest at UHigh. The Pioneers opened the scoring with a Nate Clay goal. A corner kick from Mason Wittman was headed home by Clay in the 10th minute of the first half. Normal West struck back twice in the last five minutes of the first half when they were awarded a penalty kick and finished a breakaway to make the halftime score 2-1 in favor of West. In the second half, Cayden Redd found some space 20 yards from the West goal and hit a shot. The West goalie made the initial save but was not able to save the rebound that Clay tucked away. The game ended at a 2-2 draw. UHigh is in action again on Saturday at NCHS (Varsity: 10am and JV: 11:30am).
UHigh won in decisive fashion over crosstown rival Bloomington High School on Monday night at Community Fields, 3-0. The first round Intercity Tournament win was the first shutout of the year for the combined goalkeeping efforts of Christian Lopez and Michael Napolitano. UHigh will play against Normal West on Wednesday at home (4:30pm) for round 2 of the Intercity Tournament.
The Pioneers were in action again tonight against Morton High School. After a rough start, UHigh found themselves down 2-0 after two mistakes wound up in the back of their net. The Pioneers quickly recovered when Nate Clay beat a Potters defender along the endline and played a pass to JD Kelley who finished it, making the score 2-1 at halftime. UHigh came out strong in the second half when Nate Clay took a through pass from Jett Jenkins and beat the Morton keeper to tie the match. Minutes later, Jett Jenkins was on the end of a JD Kelley corner kick to take the lead 3-2. Nate Clay struck the fourth goal home when he found a loose ball in front of the Morton goal. UHigh won its first match of the season 4-2. They play Peoria Notre Dame on Saturday for their first home game of the season.
UHigh JV: 1-2L. Goal by Michael VanPlew.
The UHigh Men's Soccer team played to a 3-3 draw on Tuesday night in front of a rowdy Danville High School crowd on the road. The lead changed hands 3 times throughout the match as each team looked to pull away. UHigh got on the board first in the 15th minute when Jett Jenkins headed a JD Kelley cross into the net to make it 1-0. 5 minutes later, Danville was awarded a penalty kick on a handball in the box. They converted to make it 1-1 at halftime. In the second half, Danville took the lead on a breakaway goal 5 minutes into the half. UHigh tied the match at 2-2 when Nate Clay took a pass from Cayden Redd and poked the ball around the Danville goalie. Clay scored again 5 minutes later when he beat a Danville player on the wing and slotted a shot into the bottom left corner, giving UHigh the lead 3-2. UHigh's pressure was almost too much for the Vikings as they looked for a 4th goal, narrowly missing several chances. With 5 minutes remaining, Danville was awarded a corner kick that they flicked past UHigh keeper Christian Lopez to tie the game at 3-3. UHigh is in action again on Thursday night when they travel to Morton High School to take on the Potters (JV: 5pm, Varsity: 7pm).
UHigh JV: 1-1T. Goal by Nate Matheis.