By Brad Spencer
Hosting cross-town rival Fenwick couldn't come at a better time for the OPRF soccer team. The matchup always produces an intense game, and a win could give the Huskies momentum with top-ranked Lyons Township on the horizon.
The Huskies, who headed into this week with an overall record of 8-2-2 and a West Suburban (Silver) Conference mark of 2-1, host the Friars (7-5-1) on Friday night under the lights at Oak Park Stadium (7 p.m.). After falling last week 1-0 to Downers Grove South, a team ranked in the top 10 along with the Huskies, a victory over a rival could go a long way for the team.
In spite of his team's recent setback, OPRF head coach Paul Wright said he's happy with how his young squad has played thus far.
"We could have been undefeated — two ties that could have been wins and we lost 1-0 to Libertyville in a game we played even with them and they are in the Pepsi Finals," he said. "[I'm] very happy they are adjusting to the physical-ness and pace of the varsity level."
Wright has made a few callups as the season has progressed and the decision has paid off in the form of freshman Marcus Machado and sophomores Elias El Menananti and Gian Luca Locasto. Machado provided an assist in OPRF's 2-1 victory over Hinsdale Central last week. Stephen Golz and Ryan Huettell both scored for the Huskies in that win, while goalkeeper Sam Euler aided with the other assist.
The Huskies, who are the first OPRF soccer team in the last 15 years to be ranked in the top 10 — they were ninth as of last week — travel to Lyons Township on Oct. 7.