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Maxine Arvanetes and Andrew hinder Homewood-Flossmoor

Sophomore forward Maxine Arvanetes has a great soccer role model in her older brother, Johnny, who earned state honors last fall for Andrew.

Maxine will continue the family legacy this spring for the Thunderbolts, making a big difference off the bench in her first collegiate season.

“Johnny has had a big impact on me,” he said. “He is so good. He puts in the time and takes it seriously. “I am very proud to call him my brother and he has a great influence on me.”

Like brother, like sister?

Arvanetes’ sixth goal of the season was his biggest. She scored Tuesday night to help Andrew to a 2-1 win over Homewood-Flossmoor in a Joliet Class 3A Central Sectional semifinal.

Paige Swaw scored the winning goal for the top-seeded Thunderbolts (17-5-2), while Emily Crotty and Grace Wood each recorded an assist.

Andrew will play at 5 p.m. on Friday for the sectional title against third-seeded Lincoln-Way Central (11-5-3), which beat Lincoln-Way East 1-0 on an overtime goal by Madi Watt. The Thunderbolts and Knights split a pair of regular season games.

Evie Regas scored the goal and Cristina Ramirez made seven saves to lead fourth-seeded HF (18-6-1) as it ended its deepest postseason streak in 12 years.

Andrew's Maxine Arvanetes (2) dribbles down the field during Joliet's Class 3A Central Sectional semifinal game against Homewood-Flossmoor in Joliet on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Troy Stolt/for Pioneer Press)
Andrew’s Maxine Arvanetes (2) dribbles up the field against Homewood-Flossmoor during a Class 3A Joliet Central Sectional semifinal game on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Troy Stolt/Daily Southtown)

Regas gave HF the lead in the 14th minute, tapping in a rebound after Dakota Dixon broke free on a breakaway, but her shot attempt was blocked by Andrew goalkeeper Kadence Jones and a defender.

Arvanetes, however, provided the answer for the Thunderbolts just over seven minutes later. Crotty took a free kick from 45 yards and sent the ball into the box, where Arvanetes was able to put his foot on it and fire a shot into the back of the net.

“It was really exciting,” Arvanetes said. “Emily put a great ball into the area and I made a great volley. I thought it was great teamwork.”

Soccer has been a big part of Arvanetes’ life for as long as he can remember.

“My whole family plays soccer,” he said. “A group of cousins ​​and other relatives play. I’ve been playing since I was very little in elementary school. I love friendships, colleagues.

“Winning and celebrating with them is always great.”

Andrew's Paige Swaw (19) shoots the ball on a volley during Joliet's Class 3A Central Sectional semifinal game against Homewood-Flossmoor in Joliet on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Troy Stolt/for Pioneer Press)
Andrew’s Paige Swaw (19) shoots a shot against Homewood-Flossmoor during a Joliet Central Sectional Class 3A semifinal game on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Troy Stolt/Daily Southtown)

Arvanetes has thrived in her role as Andrew’s coach Loren Zolk’s backup, who knows she is always ready to come in and provide a spark.

“She’s one of those sneaky, natural goal scorers,” Zolk said. “That goal she scored was unreal. Crossing the body and having the ability to touch it is a very difficult thing to do.

“She’s consistent and then she has those flashes of brilliance.”

Zolk sees big things ahead for Arvanetes. He hopes she starts showing off some of the dazzling moves her older brother showed off in her career.

“Johnny is a little bit more of a dancer with the ball,” Zolk said. “Max has that ability, but we don’t allow him to do it yet. We have her at bay.

“As she gets older, she’ll have those moments where we let her go.”

Andrew's Maxine Arvanetes (2) receives a pass during Joliet's Class 3A Central Sectional semifinal game against Homewood-Flossmoor in Joliet on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Troy Stolt/for Pioneer Press)
Andrew’s Maxine Arvanetes (2) plays the ball against Homewood-Flossmoor during a Class 3A Joliet Central Sectional semifinal game on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Troy Stolt/Daily Southtown)

Arvanetes also plays volleyball with Andrew, again following in the footsteps of Johnny, who also participates in that sport.

“It’s fun to connect with different types of people and it’s really cool to be active in multiple sports,” Maxine said. “Volleyball helps a lot with hand-eye coordination and I think that also helps me coordinate with my feet.”

Swaw scored the game-winner, launching a shot from 15 yards off a pass from Wood with 18:33 left in the game.

Swaw was grateful to be in position to be the hero after Arvanetes started the comeback.

“His footwork is excellent,” Swaw said of Arvanetes. “We really needed her at the top. She was able to score that goal and tie the game for us, and from there we finished it off.”