With a state championship berth on the line, neither Triad or Grayslake Central had found their way to the net 20 minutes into their match. Tobey Suter decided to change that for the Knights.
The second highest scorer on the Knights buried a shot into the bottom corner to give his squad a 1-0 advantage with 19 minutes remaining in the opening period. Despite several promising threats from both squads, this score held into halftime.
The Rams offense came out firing in the later half, including a breakaway past the Knight’s goaltender in the opening minute. This opportunity was not converted however as senior defender Roger Weber came up with a perfectly timed slide tackle to allow the rest of the defense to realign.
With 18 minutes left to play, a corner kick from Gibson Hunt found its way to Jake Ellis. Ellis landed a head on the ball to send it to an open part of the net, but found the crossbar instead.
Following a red card with 5 minutes to go, the Hunt to Ellis connection saw another opportunity on a free kick. This time around, Ellis buried the shot and gave his squad a 2-0 advantage.
Not willing to give up just yet, the Rams potent offense continued to threaten. Their efforts finally produced results as they slashed Triad’s lead to 2-1 with 2:41 remaining.
After rebuffing several threats in the final minutes, Triad held on for the win 2-1. This advances them to the first IHSA State Championship match in Triad history for a boys team, which will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday. They will face off against the winner of Boylan Catholic and Chicago(Washington), which is being held at 3:00 Friday.
“We’ll do recovery, get some food in them, and let them relax. Thankfully we don’t play until 1:00 tomorrow,” Triad’s Head Coach Jim Jackson said about getting his team ready for the quick turnaround with a state title on the line.