Plainfield North edges Lincoln-Way Central

Immediately after his team held on for a win over Lincoln-Way Central, Plainfield North boys soccer coach Lukasz Majewski sought out his star defender, Brady Harwood.

“Holy mother of lasers,” Majewski said to Harwood with a big smile. “Beam me up, Scotty.”

The “laser” was Harwood’s shot from the left side that sizzled through the air and into the back of the net from about 35 yards out. That came with 3:40 to play in the game and held up for the winning score in the Tigers’ 2-1 victory Thursday in Plainfield.

It was the second win in as many days for Plainfield North (6-2), which knocked off Joliet Central, 4-1, on Wednesday. On the flip side, it was the first loss for the Knights (4-1).

“We had to bring back our confidence,” Harwood said. “We came in knowing [the Knights] were good. We had to match their ability. We lost twice last week, so we had to get back to our winning ways.”

The Tigers did that thanks to the blast by their junior, who is one of the team captains.

“Justin Williams gave me the pass,” Harwood said of how the winning play developed. “I looked up and knew it was desperation time, so I just went for it. It felt awesome. It felt great.”

Majewski thought Harwood’s second goal of the season, and second in as many days, was wonderful, too.

“Brady is a very talented player,” he said. “He could play anywhere on the field, but he’s the anchor in the middle of our defense.”

That defense played well, especially in the first half. The Tigers had the better of the possession in the first half and were able to score in the 15th minute. Junior defender Matthew Hipolito fed Allen Cooper just past midfield. The junior forward then sped just to the left of midfield and buried a shot past junior keeper Ryan Marszalek and into the upper right corner.

It was 1-0 at halftime, and both teams came out of the gate with opportunities in the second half.

Lincoln-Way Central converted when senior Andrew Madon found the ball at his feet after a failed clearing attempt. The senior forward ripped a shot from the top of the box and into the left side of the net to tie the score with 15:50 to play.

The Knights nearly took the lead, but junior keeper Kash Koslowski made the save of the game. Johnny Roussakis ripped a shot that hit the crossbar by the left post. It bounced out to fellow sophomore forward Luca Rotondi, who hit a header that looked to be going in. But Koslowski snared it with 6:30 left to keep the game knotted.

“We told the guys this is why we schedule these games,” Lincoln-Way Central coach Dave Brown said. “It was a very stern test and a good game. But if you give Plainfield North time and space, they will use it. We made one little error, and you’re not going to find a better left-footed strike than the one from Brady Harwood.

“Sometimes you just have to tip your cap.”