AURORA | Seemingly destined for overtime, the Hinkley boys soccer team got a late break in Thursday’s scoreless deadlock with Gateway.
With time ticking away in regulation in a scoreless battle in front of a large following on the Olys home field, the Thunderbirds were awarded a penalty kick for a take down in the goal box.
Far from a certainty with playmaking Gateway senior goalie Erick Torres in the net, Hinkley senior midfielder Danny Gonzalez converted the chance with a line drive shot that got just past the hand of a diving Torres and into the corner of the net.
The Thunderbirds killed off the final few minutes of regulation for a 1-0 victory, another impressive win in the first season under new coach Marcos Madera.
Hinkley took a big step forward in the EMAC chase as it moved to 2-0 in league play (same as Aurora Central) and 4-1 overall. Despite some good pressure in the second half, coach Olaf Siverson’s Olys were shut out for the first time since late last season and fell to 4-1-1 overall and 0-1-1 in league.
The two Aurora Public Schools rivals played to a 2-2 tie last season and six of the seven meetings prior to that were decided by a goal, so a tight contest seemed likely from the outset.
A back and forth first half saw very few prime scoring chances until the final minutes, the best of which came when Hinkley senior forward Anandro Sinaga stepped up to take a free kick attempt just outside Gateway’s goal box.
Sinaga — who scored twice in the Thunderbirds’ win over Cherry Creek and had the game-winner against Legacy — bent his shot around a two-man wall of Gateway’s Jose Calzada Sanchez and Kevin Osorio with seemingly perfect placement for the top corner of the net.
Torres had other ideas as he leaped and punched the shot over the cross bar with his left hand, the most impressive stop of his seven saves.
The save sent Sinaga shaking his head in disbelief as did another good chance he had in the second half that pinged it off the goal post. Senior Angel Heredia’s follow up shot missed just wide.
The Olys had some prime counterattacks and a few set pieces in the second half, but the Hinkley defense and junior goalkeeper Alexis Acevedo kept everything out of the net.
With a few minutes left, the Thunderbirds got the PK attempt converted by Gonzalez, who was carried off the field by a teammate when the game was over.
Hinkley plays host to Prairie View at 4 p.m. Sept. 19, the same day Gateway pays a 6:30 p.m. visit to Brighton.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
HINKLEY 1, GATEWAY 0
Score by halves:
Hinkley 0 1 – 1
Gateway 0 0 — 0
Hinkley — Danny Gonzalez (penalty kick)
Goalkeepers: Hinkley — Alexis Acevedo (5 shots on goal-5 saves); Gateway — Erick Torres (8 shots on goal-7 saves)