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Boys soccer: Josh Crague’s hat trick leads LC to regional win

Crown Point's Stojan Krsteski celebrates his first half goal with teammate Zach Sneiderwine against Lake Central Thursday evening Boys Soccer

Crown Point's Stojan Krsteski celebrates his first half goal with teammate Zach Sneiderwine against Lake Central Thursday evening at the Boys Soccer Regional at Merrillville High School. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 13, 2012 6:41AM



MERRILLVILLE — Josh Crague scored his third and biggest goal of the night with 6:07 left in the second overtime to propel Lake Central to a 5-4 win over defending state champion Crown Point.

The Indians overcame two-goal Bulldogs’ leads twice in the match.

The win sends the Indians on to face Valparaiso on Saturday in the regional championship game.

“These kids just never lost focus,” said Indians’ coach Jereme Rainwater. “Everyone in Northwest Indiana should be jumping on the Josh Crague bandwagon after tonight. He just never stopped the whole night and these kids fought the whole season.”

After playing to a stalemate for the first 25 minutes of the match, the Bulldogs (14-2-4) struck twice in four minutes. Zach Sneiderwine found a wide-open Stojan Krsteski on the right side of the Indian net and Krsteski fired the shot past Josepn Majchrowicz from 10 yards out.

Krsteski assisted on the next goal as Carmelo Morales put the header past Majchrowicz to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage in the 29th minute.

Crague got the Indians (9-12) on the board in the 45th minute with a 40-yard laser beam to beat CP keeper Aleksandar Trifunovic and cut the lead to 2-1. Krsteski got his second of the match in the 65th minute after Majchrowicz stopped the initial shot; Krsteski fired the rebound in for a 3-1 Bulldog advantage.

Crague scored his second of the night with just over five minutes left to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 3-2 and Ulises Hernandez tied the score at 3-3 just 13 seconds later on a free kick following a CP yellow card, sending the game to overtime.

The third goal of the game for Crague came with 6:04 left in the second overtime to give the Indians their first lead at 4-3.

Hernandez scored his second of the match, which proved to be a huge buffer as CP’s Martin Mitreski scored with nine seconds left for the 5-4 final.



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