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Lake Zurich Aces are Champions!!!!! Spartans take 2nd; Chiefs 3rd

The 1998-99 Tri-County Soccer League season concluded Saturday, August 14, 1999 with an exciting day of play-offs for the top eight qualifying clubs. Perfect soccer weather with temperatures in the 70's helped the occasion which was held at Chief’s Field located in Wauconda, IL, the only privately owned venue in the league. The host club did a great job of organizing the event and providing hospitality.

Preliminary Round:

In the first round of matches the Lake Zurich Aces showed why they were the number one seed entering the playoffs when they defeated the Crystal Lake Hammers by scoring three goals in the first twenty minute half (abbreviated 20- minute halves were used throughout the preliminary rounds). Two of the scores coming off free kicks. ACES 3 - HAMMERS 0

The second seed was not as fortunate as the Palatine Celtics and the Wauconda Chiefs played a close match with the Chiefs scoring late in the first half with a score by Adam Wright and holding on for victory to advance to the second round. WAUCONDA CHEIFS 1 - PALATINCE CELTICS 0

At third seed, the Gurnee Spartans took a quick three-goal lead against McHenry when George Prassas scored in the 5th minute, Peter Dimas scored in the 6th minute, and Leo Khorolinsky tallied in the 11th minute. It remained 3 - 0 late into the second half when McHenry scored a consolation goal one minute from time.GURNEE SPARTANS 3 - MCHENRY 1

In the final preliminary match, Libertyville played with the minimum number of 11 players and Cary, the fourth seed had to play without its first string keeper. That notwithstanding, the teams played a great match with Libertyville scoring first on a goal from Mark Hollingsworth midway through the first half. Tim Parenti scored the equalizer for Cary five minutes from half. After tea, the clubs remained tied until David Ekstrom provided the winner for Libertyville with about 10 minutes to play, allowing Libertyville to advance to the semi-finals. LIBERTYVILLE 2 - CARY 1


In the semi-finals the Lake Zurich Aces again provided a dominating performance using top skills to secure victory scoring two goals and allowing only a late penalty score to reach the finals. LAKE ZURICH ACES 2 - LIBERTYVILLE 1

In the other semi-final match, the Gurnee Spartans and the Wauconda Chiefs played a high work rate match with the Chiefs initially having more chances in the first half. However, by the second half, the Spartans were more dominant and had several chances in regulation to go ahead, but failed. Finally, two minutes into the first over-time,George Prassas scored what would become the winner allowing the Spartans to advance to the finals. GURNEE SPARTANS 1 - WAUCONDA CHIEFS 0

The Final:

In the final match, the Lake Zurich Aces and the Gurnee Spartans squared off for a regulation 90-minute game which seemed somewhat ambitious, however, both sides started out strong for the challenge. In the first thirty minutes, both sides had several chances including two excellent opportunities for the Spartans in the 7th and 26th minute. In response, the Aces organized good action at the edge of the Spartan box and in the 30th minute scored on a close range shot from inside the box to take the lead. In the 32nd minute the Aces were awarded a free kick just outside the box and converted again. A third strong drive immediately followed, ultimately leading to the Spartan keeper taking down an Ace attacker inside the box who was fighting for a rebound and was about to score. The keeper was sent off and the Aces scored their third goal prior to half. After half-time with the Spartans a man down and the Aces having a three-goal lead, both sides could guess the outcome and played out the match in easier form with the Aces scoring two more goals and the Spartans preventing the shut-out before the final whistle. While the Spartans did a good job in the first 30 minutes, in the end the Lake Zurich Aces remain in a different class from the rest of the league and are the club to beat. LAKE ZURICH ACES 5 - GURNEE SPARTANS 1

 Click here for photos from the playoffs


Return Next week for the FWS soccer report, which will begin posting high school soccer schedules and hopefully more photos from the tcsl playoffs.