G-K falls to Johnsburg in regional semis

Sam Buckner for Shaw Media. Teammates congratulate Damen Tijerina on tying the school record for most goals in a season and most career goals on Wednesday October 11, 2017.

GENOA – A flurry of goals in the second half turned a close soccer match into a rout as Johnsburg blew out Genoa-Kingston, 6-2, in a Class 1A Genoa-Kingston Regional semifinal.

The game’s scoring ramped up when Skyhawks’ forward Dean Wiersum, who already had the game’s only two goals, scored again in the 67th and 69th minutes to put the Skyhawks up, 4-0.

“I’ve never [had a hat trick] before. So it’s all new to me,” Wiersum said. “[I was thinking] let’s get another.”

Wiersum’s teammate Will Conroy rifled another goal at the 8:45 mark to give Johnsburg a commanding 5-0 lead.

“In the first half, we had too many situations where we tried to go one-one, rather than attack together. We did a lot more attacking as a team or as a unit and that made a big difference in that second half,” Johnsburg coach Adam Bronars said.

The Cogs wouldn’t go away quietly, though.

Senior forward Damen Tijerina slithered through the Skyhawk defense, scoring less than a minute later at 8:29.

Despite the loss, the Cogs still had a reason to cheer as Tijerina tied the school’s record for goals in a season with 28.

“It’s a good feeling, but at the same time I just wish our team would have won instead. It’s a good accomplishment for me, but at the same time it’s a team accomplishment. The team is who helped me break it,” Tijerina said.

Cogs midfielder Ben Reams would then push another goal across at 7:39 to cut the lead to 5-2.

The Skyhawks’ Cody Dschida, however, would smash through another goal at 5:28 to end the Cogs’ rally.

“After that second goal, I don’t know, it kind of broke down there. That’s kind of been our mantra for some of these games. Once we get down two or three goals, we just kind of fall apart,” Genoa-Kingston coach Randy Tate said. “Unfortunately it wasn’t our night. I think they out played us.”

By the numbers: For the Skyhawks, Cody Dschida and Jack Heaney also had one assist apiece.

Beyond the stats: Despite the high score, there was a 59:33 drought between the first and second goals of the game. Dean Wiersum scored at 37:14 in the first half and neither team would score again until Wiersum’s second goal at 17:41 in the second half.

They said it: "[Damen Tijerina] could’ve had more [goals in the season], but gave up one penalty kick to one of the kids who doesn’t play very much, so if he would have taken that kick, maybe he would’ve had one more. He’s very unselfish,” Cogs coach Randy Tate said.

Up next: Johnsburg will take on Elgin St. Edward at 1 p.m. Saturday in the regional title game.