WESTERN SPRINGS – For all the hype, build up and excitement in the crowd, the game for the Silver Brick was decided in the span of a couple minutes.
After a scoreless first half, Hinsdale Central's soccer team scored twice in two minutes to break the game open against host Lyons Township and the Red Devils retained the Silver Brick rivalry trophy with a 3-0 win Saturday afternoon.
Justin Yi scored on a half-volley in the 43rd minute and two minutes later Max Krohn was on the end of a set piece to double the lead. Bryan Loebig added a third goal in the 77th minute after the Lions turned the ball over defensively.
The game was played in front of a big crowd at LT’s Bennett Field, and the Lions were disappointed to be unable to perform for their home fans.
“Everyone came out and supported us,” said LT captain Frankie Kocimski. “It definitely gives us the feel of a playoff atmosphere to what I think are top tier teams going at each other.”
Saturday's game likely decided the West Suburban Silver, but the focus for both teams was on getting one up against their rivals.
“It’s definitely a game that we circle on our calendar because we have the Silver Brick that we also play for," Kocimski said. "It’s a huge rivalry.”
The Silver Brick stays in Hinsdale for the second year in a row after LT had won the previous three years. It is the first time the Red Devils have won back-to-back regular season meetings between the two rivals since 2001 and 2002.
“It’s important that the kids understand the tradition and the history because it’s what makes high school athletics special," said Central coach Mike Wiggins.
In addition to playing at Bennett Field and having a bigger crowd to play in front of, both teams hosted an AYSO youth soccer day. Youth teams were invited to the game and took part in opening and halftime on-field activities.
The day was an endorsement for both programs, which appear to be among the state's elite yet again.
“We’re very similar to them," said LT coach Paul Labbato. "They’re so disciplined and so focused, and I’d say that for the most part we had three minutes in that second half whether it was no focus or they amped up their intensity, but those three minutes made a huge difference.”