Bragging rights back with Panthers : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|Bragging rights back with Panthers|
|Boys' soccer team secures first win over Wolves since 2007 |
|by Matt Daniels|
It's Oswego against Oswego East.
A certain level of drama and intrigue already exists when the two schools meet in any type of sporting event because of the cross-town rivalry between the two District 308 schools.
In Tuesday's Southwest Prairie Conference boys soccer match that saw Oswego emerge with a 4-2 victory, the theatrics went to another extreme.
Teammates bickering with teammates. Coaches vehemently arguing with referees. Questionable foul calls. Six total yellow cards were handed out, including two to Oswego East head coach Steve Szymanski, who was ejected from the match with less than six minutes left.
But the acting ability of Oswego senior midfielder Nathan Kyes late in the second half stole the show and helped preserve the Panthers' first win in the series since 2007.
Kyes sold a foul call in Oswego East's penalty box with 15 minutes, 23 seconds left in the match and Oswego clinging to a precarious 3-2 lead. He was taken down in the box, and exaggerated the call with a flailing of his arms and a pronounced dive.
"That was a foul," Oswego head coach Travis Carlisle said with a straight face. "The ref's got to call that. It was a physical game and Nate's a heady player. He felt contact and he let his body go a little bit. Did he throw his arms up in the air and embellish it? Yeah. He made sure everyone on this field saw it and something was going to be done about it. But again, that's a smart player."
The foul led to a penalty kick opportunity, and Kyes buried his shot past Oswego East junior goalie Dakota Bruns. Bruns dove to his right, but Kyes fired his shot into the left side of the net to give the Panthers (5-6-1, 4-0 SPC) an insurmountable two-goal lead against the Wolves (7-7, 3-2).
"It convinced me," Oswego senior midfielder Adam Udy said. "I thought it was a real foul at first. Then he comes over and tells me it's a dive. I said 'Nice job, nice job.'"
Udy put Oswego in position to play with the lead in the second half with a goal on a somewhat controversial call, depending on whether you asked an Oswego fan or an Oswego East fan.
With the match tied at 2 and less than two minutes before halftime, Oswego sophomore midfielder Ryan Totsch lofted a ball from 20 yards out towards Udy near the Oswego East goal. An Oswego East defender was called for obstruction on the play, resulting in an indirect free kick for Oswego from roughly 10 yards out.
The entire Wolves team formed a wall along the goal line with Bruns, but before Udy could attempt the kick, junior defender Paul Butera received a yellow card for encroaching off the line.
This is where it became interesting. Butera came off after receiving his yellow card, and appeared to never move towards the Wolves' bench for a substitute to come in and take his spot.
This left Oswego East with only 10 players on the field, but the officials allowed the play to continue. Udy one-timed a shot after Kyes laid the ball up to him that deflected off a Wolves defender and into the net for a 3-2 Oswego lead with 1:58 to play before halftime.
"We know that their goalie is really strong in the air," Udy said. "I tried to keep it low at the feet, and it squirted in."
Szymanski said he thought the initial foul call and the yellow card on Butera were the correct calls.
"I'm not disagreeing with that," he said. "From my understanding of the call, the ref has to give you a chance to sub in the player and neither the linesmen, nor the head referee, came over. You have to get an opportunity to sub and that was my main problem."
Carlisle offered this assessment of the play.
"The linesmen looked down and said 'I guess they're not sending somebody,'" Carlisle said. "You've got to know the rules. You can't put a guy who just got sent off on a yellow back in. So when he saw that there was one player up and there was just that one guy, that's when he said 'I guess they're just playing down.' It's the ref's decision at that point. He blew the whistle and let us play on."
Regardless of the outcome of the call, Szymanski and Oswego East junior forward Jorge Alvarez both said the Panthers took the Wolves out of their game in the second half.
"To their credit, (Oswego) outplayed us and they beat us," Szymanski said. "The referees did not beat us. Our play did that. I think (Oswego's) style of play is a little more physical than ours. We knew that coming in but we let that style dictate the play of the game. They got under our skin. We had a couple guys that let that stuff bother them, and it was pretty clear that they let that affect us a little bit."
The win not only puts Oswego up 5-4 in the all-time series against the Wolves, it keeps alive the Panthers chance for a SPC regular season title.
"We haven't really had a great season so far," Kyes said, "but (in) conference we're 4-0 and we definitely want a conference championship, so this was step one right here."
Oswego will host Plainfield South today, Thursday, at 4:30 p.m. in another step towards that goal, with a possible showdown against Plainfield Central (14-3, 4-0) at 4:30 p.m. at home next Monday that could determine the conference champion. Oswego East, meanwhile, returns to the field at 6:30 p.m. today, Thursday, in a non-conference match at East Aurora.
Oswego East certainly had the opportunity to derail Oswego's SPC title hopes, bursting out to a 2-0 lead in the first half following goals from Alvarez and senior forward Seth Stillman in the first 23 minutes.
Jorge Alvarez scored off an assist from junior midfielder Marco Alvarez with 33:01 left in the first half to put the Wolves up 1-0 before Stillman scored on a well-played through ball from Jorge Alvarez with 17:24 still to play in the first half that made it 2-0 in favor of the Wolves.
"The first 15 minutes, we came out ready to go," Jorge Alvarez said. "We scored two quick goals, but I guess we didn't have enough for the rest of the game. It's frustrating. This is a game that we should have won. I think we're the better team, but they come out here and outplayed us. They deserved to win. They played harder."
However, the scoring barrage was just beginning. Oswego senior midfielder Fernando Chavez found himself with the ball after a cross from Oswego sophomore midfielder Curtis Grysiewicz and a mini-scrum near the goal. His left-footed shot from 12 yards out on the left side beat Bruns to the far right post to cut Oswego East's lead to 2-1 with 12:52 left before halftime. Chavez then recorded an assist nearly four minutes later off a corner kick. Chavez sent the ball into the box towards the far post, where senior defender Kyle Kearby headed it past Bruns to knot the match at 2 with nine minutes to play in the first half.
"My individual goal was to beat Oswego East because of the rivalry," Chavez said. "Our team goal was to beat Oswego East. I feel great. It's an amazing feeling."
Carlisle said the play of Chavez on Oswego's set pieces has really elevated his game this fall.
"You can see it in his eyes. He's got passion. He's got fire," Carlisle said. "It sounds so cliché, but there's no other way to explain it. He knows it's his last year and he wants to go out on a high note. Anytime we have a set piece and there's people who's talking about who wants to take it, he's stepping up and saying he wants to take it. It makes things a lot easier for us because it's a person who's going to step up, be a leader and take that initiative."
Now the Panthers have put themselves in a good position to control how they'll finish in the SPC with three league matches left. And the fact that they can hold bragging rights for the next year is another added perk from Tuesday's win.
"I thought from the start, they played with more intensity than us," Szymanski said. "I think this game meant more to them than it did to us. Not to say that our guys didn't play hard, but they came in going harder after everything."
•Oswego notes: Sandwiched in between its next two SPC matches, Oswego hosts non-conference foe Marmion at 10 a.m. this Saturday. The Panthers will then play at 4:30 p.m. next Tuesday at Hinsdale South in their first game of the Warrior Invite, hosted by Waubonsie Valley. Oswego will also host Lemont at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7 and play at Waubonsie Valley at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9 as part of the Warrior Invite.
-The IHSA is slated to release Class 3A seeds today and pairings on Friday. Oswego is in the 20-team Naperville North Sectional.
-Oswego lost 2-0 last Saturday at East Aurora. Sophomore goalie Luis Gallardo made 13 saves in the loss.
-The Panthers beat Plainfield East 1-0 last Thursday at home. Chavez scored Oswego's lone goal while Gallardo notched his fourth shutout of the season.
-Oswego also beat Minooka 1-0 on Sept. 22 on the road. Kearby scored the goal for Oswego while Gallardo secured the shutout.
•Oswego East notes: Szymanski will have to sit out today's match against East Aurora because of his ejection. After the match with the Tomcats, the Wolves will play at 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday at Plainfield North in SPC action.
-The IHSA is slated to release Class 3A seeds today and pairings on Friday. Oswego East is in the 20-team Naperville North Sectional.
-Alvarez - who has 20 goals on the season - scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Wolves past Metea Valley 3-1 on the road last Thursday.
Alvarez scored his first goal seven minutes into the match to give Oswego East a 1-0 lead before he scored 45 seconds into the second half. His second goal gave the Wolves a 3-0 lead after Marco Alvarez scored with 30:15 left in the first half off an assist from his twin brother. Sophomore midfielder Joel Sandoval recorded the assist on Jorge Alvarez's first goal and Marco Alvarez had the assist on Jorge Alvarez's second goal.