The University High School Men's Soccer team are your 1A IHSA State Champions!!! It took some work and a lot of concentrated defense, but the Pioneers were able to overcome St. Joseph's High School from Westchester, 3-1. After a scoreless first 30 minutes, the Pioneers found themselves controlling the game and pressing St. Joe's into their own end. Nate Clay then found the ball in the middle of the field and tried to slot a pass through St. Joe's defense. The ball took a deflection and landed right on JD Kelley's foot. Kelley blasted the ball into the back of the net and the U Crew fans went nuts. Within minutes of Kelley's goal, Matt Mier played a ball across goal into the path of Nate Clay. Clay stretched for the ball and poked it onto the bottom of the crossbar and down into the goal, making it 2-0. With only a minute remaining in the half, Nate Clay again found himself in an excellent position. JD Kelley chipped a ball into the box and Clay outraced a St. Joe's defender and their goalie to touch the ball past the keeper. The score at halftime was 3-0.
In the second half, UHigh worked hard on defense to keep St. Joe's at bay. The defensive back four of Matt Mosele, Matt Mier, Ryan Poland, and Jason Lenz (seen above) had several blocked shots and big tackles. Christian Lopez made the biggest save of the game when a St. Joe's player had a close in shot that was destined for the top of the goal. Lopez stretched for a big save. With 10 minutes left, St. Joe's scored a goal but it was not enough as UHigh was victorious and won their FIRST EVER STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!
In a heated affair, the Pioneers faced off against the Waterloo Gibault Catholic Hawks for the IHSA State Semifinal match on Friday night. The game was back and forth in the beginning with both defenses unwilling to bend to each teams potent offenses. Several chances were missed by UHigh including a Gibault clearance off the goal line in the opening seconds of the match. UHigh outshot the Hawks 6-1 in the first half but could not open the door. In the second half, UHigh pushed the tempo earlier and had another shot cleared off the line by a Gibault defender. In the ensuing scramble for the ball, a Gibault player cleared the ball off his teammates hand 3 yards outside the box. Mason Wittman quickly grabbed the ball and placed it on the ground after the ref blew his whistle. Wittman touched a quick pass through to Cayden Redd who buried a shot into the upper corner for UHigh to take the lead.
After holding the lead until the 10 minute mark, a flashpoint happened in the match. UHigh goalkeeper Christian Lopez collided with a Gibault player and had to sub out of the game to check his injuries. Michael Napolitano checked into the game and was quickly tested. A scramble in the box found a Gibault player 1 on 1 with Napolitano. Napolitano tipped the shot onto the crossbar and over the goal, preserving the shutout. The final couple minutes were hectic and physical, with both teams exchanging blows. The Pioneers were able to hang on to the win, 1-0, and their first trip to the state final match on Saturday at 5pm!
The Pioneers traveled to Hinckley Big Rock on Tuesday night to play top ranked Elgin St. Edwards in the super sectionals of the 1A IHSA state playoffs. The match started out with UHigh having several opportunities, including a header off the crossbar by Nate Clay. At halftime, the score stayed knotted at 0-0. With 27 minutes remaining, JD Kelley took a throw in and found Nate Clay's head. Clay flicked the ball past the St. Edwards goalkeeper and into the corner of the net. The final 10 minutes were a busy time for goalkeeper Christian Lopez. Lopez make 5 saves that were all very difficult to help preserve the shutout win and send UHigh into the state semifinals against Waterloo Gibault on Friday night!
The University Men's High School soccer team traveled to Chilicothe for the Sectional Semifinals and Final this week coming out VICTORIOUS and earning a trip to the Super Sectional!!! On Wednesday night, UHigh played Princeton High School in the semifinal match. The Pioneers got on the board first when Nate Clay banged in an assist from JD Kelley. Kelley was on the receiving end on the next goal when Jett Jenkins slotted a through ball and Kelley finished. In the second half, Cayden Redd found the ball in the middle of the field, slotted a pass to Mason Wittman on the wing and Nate Clay finished cross from Wittman. Princeton added a late goal, ending the match at 3-1 for the Pioneers.
In the Sectional Final, UHigh found themselves in a heated rematch of last years final against Peoria Christian. Peoria Christian came into the match undefeated and ranked #1 in the 1A IHSA bracket. UHigh struck early when ten minutes into the match they were awarded a penalty kick for a handball in the box by a PC defender. Cayden Redd scored the PK making it 1-0. Within minutes after Redd's goal, JD Kelley finished a beautiful through ball from Jett Jenkins. Kelley started the play by pressuring a PC defender into a turnover and Jenkins took only one touch to find him running behind the defense. UHigh went into halftime with a 2-0 lead. In the second half, the momentum shifted back and forth until PC scored a goal with 15 minutes left after a scramble in the box. The Pioneers defense held on for the big win, 2-1!!!
UHigh moves on to play Elgin St. Edwards at Hinckley Big Rock High School at 6pm on Tuesday night. "We are not done, we have work to do" says coach Stanton.
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.