It is the biggest soccer match on the planet — or at least in Naperville.
The one game the town stops to watch every year was Tuesday night.
Naperville Central vs. Naperville North.
With pride on the line, as well the top spot atop the DVC later on, the visiting Redhawks (10-3-1, 3-0-0) stunned the home side with two goals in less than a minute to earn a hard- fought 2-1 victory in front of a big crowd.
“We were a little disappointed in ourselves and for losing on Sunday in penalty kicks to Conant. Our overall play just wasn’t what it needed to be,” said Josh Weigel, Central’s terrific midfielder. “(But) tonight we came to play from the opening whistle to get ourselves a big win over our rivals.”
After close to an hour delay due to storms that came through the area, the visitors immediately put the Huskies (8-3-1) under pressure.
The first 30 minutes belonged to Central, who attacked well with numbers, won balls in the middle, and played through Chase Adams up top, who as a freshmen is already, “a big-time player,” said Huskies coach Jim Konrad.
The pace, speed and work rate of the aforementioned Adams inspired the visitors’ attack which created several deep throws and corners in the first half — yet none finding the back of the net.
“We knew the goal was coming if we kept working and creating, and when it did, we were able to put two (in) super quick,” said Sean O’Reilly.
The senior bagged the opener in the 53rd minute when he curled in a marvelous 20-yard effort just inside the far post.
Thirty seconds later, Adams doubled the Redhawks’ advantage with a brilliant finish from nearly the same spot.
The Huskies fired back with a furious push to halve the lead, and did so when Jaxson Stokes steered in his attempt at the back post off a long throw from Alex Arredondo eight minutes from time.
Weigel, and his back line mates, weathered the storm to insure victory.
“We have lost all four years to them since I’ve been here, so this was a big win for us tonight,” said a thrilled Weigel.
“(They) were better than us tonight, and deserved the result,” said a gracious Konrad.
“We reminded the boys in the postgame that the last time we lost to them was the year that we won the state title. Of course there’s a long way to go, and we have a lot of work to do, but we battled hard, and we will continue to do so from here on out.”
Next up for the Huskies is Metea Valley next Tuesday, while the Redhawks are away at Hinsdale Central this Friday.