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Cats rout Mustangs to win regional title

Ryan+Wittenbrink+%28%232%29+kicks+his+first+goal+of+the+game+over+the+head+of+three+Mundelein+defenders.%0APhoto+courtesy+of+Maddy+Wittenbrink
Ryan Wittenbrink (#2) kicks his first goal of the game over the head of three Mundelein defenders.
Photo courtesy of Maddy Wittenbrink

Ryan Wittenbrink (#2) kicks his first goal of the game over the head of three Mundelein defenders. Photo courtesy of Maddy Wittenbrink

Ryan Wittenbrink (#2) kicks his first goal of the game over the head of three Mundelein defenders. Photo courtesy of Maddy Wittenbrink

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On Saturday, Oct. 21, the Libertyville Wildcats boys soccer team defeated the Mundelein Mustangs, 6-0, to capture their fourth straight regional title.

The Cats were on the attack early when senior forward Ryan Wittenbrink scored off a free kick with 33 minutes left to give the Cats a 1-0 lead.

“That is a shot I practice a lot on my own,” said Wittenbrink, who is committed to play soccer at Indiana University next year. “I got lucky and it went in.”

Two minutes later, Wittenbrink had another free kick. This one was saved by the Mundelein goalie, but junior forward Tanner Kelly was there to put the rebound in the net, and the Cats went up 2-0.

The Cats continued to control the ball throughout the first half. With 22 minutes remaining, the Cats scored again. This time it was a header by junior midfielder Evan Rasmussen off of a Will Powers throw in. The Cats led 3-0 at the half.

The second half got off to a rough start for Libertyville when Powers fell attempting to make a tackle, and a Mundelein player landed on his wrist. It was a noticeable break, and Powers had to leave the game immediately. He was later diagnosed with a fractured wrist. The stadium went silent as Powers walked off the field in a noticeable amount of pain.

“After looking, at my arm, I saw that it was not normal and clearly broken. I was in a lot of shock,” said Powers, who transferred from Warren this past year. “I was thinking about the team more than anything else at that point and that was hard for me.” Powers’ status for the next game is questionable.

Powers didn’t have much to worry about as the Cats dominated the second half with goals from Wittenbrink, senior Riley Hoff and junior Luke Underwood. Goalies Thomas Pearson, Zach El Ghatit and Chase Eyre collectively pitched a shutout for the Wildcats.

“It feels good that we have established a consistent winning culture here,” said Wittenbrink, who is the lone player remaining from the 2015 state title team. “It shows consistency and how hard the players and coaches have been working.”

The Wildcats will play Wheeling in the sectional semifinal game on Tuesday night at 5 p.m. at Fremd.

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
Cats rout Mustangs to win regional title