You could win a state title with all the high school talent on display Tuesday on Day 1 of the Lake Forest Invitational boys soccer tournament.
And we’re not talking about putting together an all-star team from the eight participating squads either. There was some serious soccer being played on the field at Lake Forest’s soccer complex, especially by members of the four winnings teams: Waukegan, Round Lake, Highland Park and Dundee-Crown. They advanced to Thursday’s semifinals with wins over Lakes (Waukegan won 3-1), Lake Forest (Highland Park won in a shootout 4-3 after the teams tied 1-1), Carmel (Round Lake won 7-3) and Deerfield (Dundee-Crown won 2-1).
Waukegan 3 Lakes 1
■ Goals: Waukegan — Kevin Morales Eric Hernandez, Ronaldo Diaz. Lakes — Cesar Murua.
■ It was the first win for new head coach Peter Valdez, who was promoted from the freshman squad after Joe Martinez retired.
■ This was a classy and well-organized Waukegan team on the field. The Bulldogs appear to lack a true finisher, but they’re extremely strong in the midfield.
■ Waukegan lost to Palatine 3-2 on Monday.
■ Valdez said: “We talked about some things after yesterday’s game, and they did those things today. They shot more. The passes were with purpose. We had, I think, a lot more consistency as far as the pace of the game. I was happy with the way we responded.”
■ Waukegan mid Josh Illana said: “The first game of the season, we started out slow, but we picked up some momentum. We didn’t give up and started playing better as a team, and we were able to carry that into today.”
Round Lake 7 Carmel 3
■ Goals: Round Lake — Christian Gomez, Freddie Ramirez (2), Vladimir Manriquez, Alejandro Sotelo, Raul Albor. Carmel — Scott Cloe, Austin Ehren, Braco Lasso.
■ Freddie Ramirez had an 80-yard run through most of Carmel’s team and a classic finish one of his goals..
■ Round Lake captain and midfielder Edgar Nieto received two yellow cards so he won’t play Thursday.
■ Carmel’s Ehren also had an 80-yard run for a score after picking up a clear out of the box and beating the Panther defenders down the field.
■ This Round Lake team has the players and the energy to just keep making runs at you until you break.
■ Round Lake coach Huge Tellez said: “I feel really good about this team. These guys have been together right from the beginning. We have four captains (Ramirez, Nieto, Adis Sator, and Joel Sanchez), and the leadership has been phenomenal. They set the tone before the game, then go out there and lead by example.”
Dundee-Crown 2 Deerfield 1
■ Goals: Dundee-Crown — Ivan Sanchez, Miguel Rodriguez. Deerfield — Parker James
Highland Pk 2 Lake Forest 1 (so)
■ Giants won shootout 4-3 with each team taking five shots.
■ Goals: Highland Park — Tony Barrios. Lake Forest — Paul Passalino.
■ Highland Park keeper Carlos Pineda made a diving save on a low shot by Lake Forest’s Sebastian Ziaja in the fourth round of the penalty shootout. It was ruled Pineda came off his line early and Ziaja got a second attempt. He made a save almost identical to the first to seal the win.
■ Lake Forest’s midfield leader is junior Keegan Kullby, son of Lakes head coach Kevin Kullby.
■ Lake Forest coach Rob Parry said: “Highland Park did a good job possessing the ball, and on a hot day, I think we got a little bit tired in the second half. I’m not disappointed at all for the first outing. We’d have liked to have finished some more of opportunities, but we saw some things we can build on.”