Even though Stagg trailed in overall possession time against a solid Wheaton North team during last Monday’s boys’ soccer season-opener, the Chargers still displayed enough on both sides of the ball to come away with a 2-1 victory.
Stagg’s defense especially shone in the second half, as the locals posted a shutout during that span. Netminder Erick Estrada came up with a huge save in the closing minute to preserve the win. John Zajac and Matt Kois, meanwhile, provided the Chargers’ offensive spark.
“Wheaton North is a good team,” Stagg coach Mike Kealy said. “They had a little bit more of possession, but we capitalized on two opportunities.”
The first of those came just 1:10 into the match, when Zajac made good on a corner kick. Wheaton later took advantage of a Chargers defensive breakdown that led to a breakaway goal, but Stagg found the net one more time before the opening half ended.
“We’ve been working on those corner shots in practice,” Kealy said. “It was good to put one in early. We had a lot of chances in the second half, [including] two or three breakaways that we could have easily put away.”
But the stop by Estrada (seven saves) in the closing minutes sealed the deal for Stagg.
“Erick had two very nice saves, and that last beautiful one was [on] a crossbar shot that many goalies wouldn’t have gotten to,” Kealy said. “All in all, for the first match, I was pleased with the team’s effort on both sides of the ball.
“We have a lot of work to do as far as team defense, but we played well enough to get the win against Wheaton North.”
As the Chargers seek to build on the early success, seniors Beto Torres and Phil Kolesinski will be two of the key players in Kealy’s offense. Torres missed all but four matches in 2012 because of a hamstring injury.
“We’re happy that Beto is healthy this season,” Kealy said. “He had one assist against Wheaton and should have had a couple of goals.
“He’s our playmaker and distributes the ball very effectively for us. He’s a very dangerous attacking player, and having him back is definitely a plus.
“We’ll have a balanced, multi-headed attack [because] Phil also initiates a lot. It’s too early to crown any team No. 1. We’re a good team, so we’ll see where it takes us.”
Stagg’s second scheduled match of the week against Whitney Young was postponed due to Friday’s inclement weather. The Chargers’ next contest will be today versus St. Laurence.
“We’re definitely looking forward to eventually playing Whitney Young because we believe they’re a quality team,” Kealy said.
Chicago Christian opened its season last Monday with a 2-2 tie against Shepard, then crushed Westmont 10-0 on Wednesday behind a four-goal, two-assist performance by Getenet Timmermans.
At the Peoria Christian Tournament on Friday, the Knights settled for their second draw of the young season by playing the host school to a 1-1 tie. Jake Robertson tallied for Chicago Christian.
Saturday produced a split, as the Knights defeated St. Thomas More 4-1 before losing 3-1 to Timothy Christian.
Mike Kaczmarczyk and Colm McGhee notched the markers that allowed Shepard to battle Chicago Christian to a standoff last Monday. The news wasn’t as good for the Astros on Thursday, however, as Homewood-Flossmoor pinned a 4-1 setback on them.
Edson Trejo supplied Shepard’s lone goal in the latter match.
Rebounding from a 1-0 season-opening loss to Maine South last Tuesday, Sandburg slipped past Lemont 2-0 on Thursday in Orland Park. John Manthey and Tom Nie delivered the Eagles’ goals in the win.
Although Chicago Christian dropped a tough 158-161 verdict to Wheaton Academy last Monday in a Suburban Christian Conference dual match at Silver Lakes, Blaine Wright earned medalist honors by firing a 36 for nine holes.
Wright repeated his feat on Thursday, as his round of 43 ranked as the day’s low score. This time, the Knights supported his effort with solid team play as they beat Tinley Park 178-200 at Silver Lakes.
Sandburg finished second in last Tuesday’s Homewood-Flossmoor Quadrangular at Ravisloe by shooting a 156, which placed the Eagles eight strokes behind victorious Lincoln-Way East. On Thursday at Ravisloe, Nick Adduce was the medalist, but the Eagles fell two shots short of Lincoln-Way North (162-164).
Shepard was victorious last Wednesday against Tinley Park, 175-189, in a South Suburban Conference crossover match at The Sanctuary. Colin Cody led the way for the Astros with a meet-best 40.
That victory came on the heels of Shepard’s 184-196 conquest of TF South the Monday before.
Stagg dropped a SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue match to Lincoln-Way East, 150-176, on Thursday at Green Garden.
Stagg came up short of Bradley-Bourbonnais in a SouthWest Suburban Conference crossover match last Monday.
Lady Boilermakers golfers Sydney White and Darby L’Ecuyer shared medalist honors with rounds of 39, which keyed Bradley’s 164-178 triumph at White Mountain.
Singles victories by Jenny Jackich at No. 1 and Becca Gaynor at No. 2 helped Chicago Christian top Andrew 4-1 last Tuesday. The tables got turned on Thursday, though, as Marist edged the Lady Knights 3-2.
Stagg received singles wins from Nicole Pamphilis (No. 1) and Jillian Atkenson (No. 2) last Wednesday, but that couldn’t prevent the Lady Chargers from suffering a 3-2 loss to Marist.
Shepard defeated Bremen 4-1 in an SSC crossover match last Tuesday as Rhonda Habbal (No. 1) and Gaby Juszczak (No. 2) posted victories for the Lady Astros at first- and second-singles, respectively.