FINAL FOUR!

Tom Batters

In a game that featured 32 fouls and several injury timeouts, Peoria Notre Dame beat Lemont, 3-0, on its home field Tuesday to win the Super-Sectional and earn its second straight trip to the state finals.

Notre Dame, the defending Class 2A state champions, got a goal from Kevin Whalen 11 minutes into the game and held off a pesky Lemont team the rest of the way. Vince Cicciarelli created some space off to the corner of the net and took a shot, which was deflected in the air. Whalen took a step toward the ball and heded it in for the goal.

It remained a 1-0 game until 10:04 left in the second half, when Cicciarelli sprinted and caught a Lemont player from behind to take control of the ball. He beat the goalkeeper on a one-on-one break and tapped the ball into the net to give the Irish (22-2-1) a 2-0 lead. Drew Olehy added an unassisted goal in the final minute to seal the 3-0 win.

The game had its casualties. Senior Michael Schrader left with an ankle injury and did not return. Junior defender Brett lane received a red card and will be ineligible for the semifinal game against Freeport (11 a.m. Friday).

ND senior goalkeeper Jon Andersh made a couple diving saves to preserve the lead. Notre Dame outshot Lemont, 12-4.