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Minooka advances to regional championship

JOLIET – With Metra trains lined up on the outside of the south fence at the Joliet Central soccer field, Minooka and Bradley Bourbonnais tried to deliver a win in Class 3A Regional action Wednesday.

In the end, it was the Indians riding away with a 2-1 victory over the Boilermakers.

After a scoreless first half, Bradley scored with 34:45 left in the second half when Andrew Santoliva beat Minooka keeper Alex Singletary low left.

The Indians weren’t about to let that get them off track, though, as Mason Messina scored to tie the match at 29:30.

Minooka then took advantage of a set shot from the left of the goal in the 62nd minute when, with the ball being bounced around like a pinball in front of Bradley keeper Nicholas Mullinax, Giacomo Raimondi plunked one in, low right, to break the tie.

In the first half, the Boilermakers controlled the action early, but the Indians had an answer and pressed the pace after the first five minutes.

Bradley got shots from Dean Lauvina on a header at 38:40 and Christian Henock-Berhanu had a shot on goal at the onset, too.

Minooka finally got a few chances while facing the trains at the south end, beginning with Matt Dlugopolski intercepting a pass in the offensive end and getting a shot at 37:02.

Giacomo followed that up closely with another intercept of a Boilermaker pass at 33:46, but was stopped by Mullinax.

Three minutes later, Dlugpolski had a shot and eight minutes later Ryan Bozue booted one over net.

Minooka created a corner shot at 17:00, but got no shot on a set play involving Joseph McCabe and Raimondi.

Hancock-Berhanu appeared to break up the scoreless deadlock for Bradley in the 28th minute, but he was ruled offsides.

The match was about even over the final 12 minutes before halftime with Bradley getting a direct free kick with about seven minutes left.

Minooka now plays Normal Community on Friday night at 5 p.m. Normal advanced by beating Joliet West 4-0.

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