By Brad Spencer
The OPRF soccer team defeated Downers Grove South 2-1 to win the Oak Park Regional Championship on Friday.
With just under nine minutes left in the game, OPRF's Mike Bower broke a 1-1 tie when his shot careened off a Downers Grove defender and went into the goal for the game winner.
In the opening half, Elias El Metennani booted a shot from 26 yards out to score OPRF's first goal.
The Huskies (14-4-3) struggled a bit in the first half, being outshot by the Downers 8-6.
"We played well in the second half, picking up our level of intensity and sticking to the game plan," said OPRF head coach Paul Wright, whose team was set to face second-ranked Morton in the Class 3A Argo Sectional semifinals on Tuesday (after deadline, but check www.oakpark.com for results). "Morton will be a challenge; they are a very talented team and not the team we played earlier in the year and beat 2-0."
The Huskies downed Morton at home on Oct. 8, a day when Mustangs head coach Mike Caruso decided to rest key starters. Morton, a team that has been ranked as high as No. 1 this season, edged Libertyville 2-1 to win the Pepsi Showdown back in September.
If the Huskies were able to upset Morton on Tuesday, then another powerhouse opponent likely awaits them for the sectional championship on Friday at Argo (4 p.m.). Top-ranked and defending Class 3A State champ Lyons Township, a team the Huskies fell to 2-1 on Oct. 7, was scheduled to take on Downers Grove North in the other Argo Sectional semifinal on Tuesday. OPRF and Downers Grove North finished tied for second under Lyons in the West Suburban (Silver) Conference this season.