Romeoville hangs on with 5-3 win over Minooka despite late rally

Romeoville set the pace in first half with quick counterattacks but almost let Minooka catch up late

Romeoville’s quick passing and counterattacks appeared to be too much for Minooka throughout an offensive show of a match Monday.

The Spartans came out fast, and about three minutes in senior Edrik Padilla opened the scoring with a sprint and solo goal. He followed barely four minutes later with another score, helping Romeoville to a quick 2-0 lead.

Teammate John Renteria also got in on the scoring with an assist from Adrian Lechuga to make it 3-0 a little more than 10 minutes into the first half.

Renteria also was the one who assisted Danish Masih to give Romeoville a 4-0 lead with about 15 minutes to go before halftime.

“Our midfield helped out a lot,” Padilla said. “We were moving the ball around in the midfield. John [Renteria] was giving great passes. Our crosses were good.”

Renteria attributed the Spartans’ offensive success to their speed and focus on moving forward as a team on counterattacks.

Minooka had some chances in the first half attacking into a strong wind but couldn’t convert during the first 40 minutes.

Then the second half started, and Minooka was the squad with the wind at its back.

The first break came after Minooka midfielder Zac Monnett was fouled just inside the penalty area. He converted the penalty kick and cut the deficit to 4-1 with a little less than 24 minutes to play.

Forward Ben Joder kept the rally going for Minooka. Off a throw-in, he headed in a goal to make it 4-2.

With a little more than 14 minutes left in the match, Joder hunted down a long kickoff from his keeper and ran past the Romeoville defense for his second goal to make it 4-3.

Minooka coach Nate Spriggs said he decided to move Joder to the outside in the second half where he got more space. The move paid off.

“He was getting double- and triple-teamed in the middle,” Spriggs said. “We got more space [in the second half] so he could create on his own.”

Romeoville coach Nick Cirrincione took notice of Joder’s success running up and down on his defense. After Joder knocked in his second goal, Cirrincione directed senior Jiovanny Pacheco to shadow the Minooka forward for the rest of the match.

After a few late opportunities, however, it was Romeoville’s offense that stopped the comeback. With about a minute left, Padilla again led a counterattack and found teammate Adrian Lechuga, who tapped in the last goal.

Cirrincione said in his 11 years coaching at Romeoville, this year’s squad is “probably the best offensive team we’ve had.”

Both teams have a sprint to the finish of their 11-match regular seasons before a conference tournament.

On Tuesday, Romeoville (4-2-1) will play Yorkville, and Minooka (6-3) will face Oswego East.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.