Oak Park-River Forest soccer coach Paul Wright describes the Huskies’ 2010 season as a bit of an “emotional rollercoaster.”
The Huskies (12-4-2) certainly experienced a West Suburban (Silver) Conference wild ride last week, taking on top conference teams Morton, Lyons Township (defending Class 3A state champion) and Downers Grove North. The team won one of their three marquee match-ups, a 2-0 victory over — at the time — No. 1-ranked Morton at Oak Park Stadium on Friday. While the Mustangs rested four of their top players — notably Joel Salmeron — due to heavy minutes of recent playing time, OPRF still claimed a solid conference crossover win.
Thomas Lamm, the Huskies’ leading goal scorer, netted a pair of goals within the first 10 minutes of action. Lamm scored the first goal on a scramble in front of the Morton net, while his second tally came via a corner kick, assisted by Elias El-Mentanni.
“It’s always nice to get a win against a team like Morton,” Wright said. “I thought we moved the ball around and played pretty well.”
Last Thursday (Oct. 7), perennial rival Lyons Township edged the Huskies 2-1 at Bennett Field in Western Springs. Lyons senior forward Horacio Sanchez scored two goals to clinch the Lions at least a share of their third straight West Suburban (Silver) Conference title and fifth over the last six years. Gian luca Locasto scored the Huskies’ lone goal on a rebound off his own shot on LT keeper Jeremiah Enright. Lyons outshot OPRF 21-8 for the game.
Downers Grove North also beat OPRF 3-2 on penalty kicks in double overtime last week (Oct. 5).
“Before having [OPRF goalkeeper] Sam [Euler] out, we were really looking forward to this stretch of tough games,” Wright said. “It’s unfortunate we didn’t have Sam, but we still look at these games as a way of measuring ourselves against top competition.”
The North Carolina-bound Euler, who has mononucleosis, is questionable regarding a return this season.
“It’s a week-to-week [situation] and really the doctor’s call,” Wright said about his star goalkeeper’s availability. “He’s lost about 10-15 pounds, so I really don’t foresee him coming back. Sam has been at a lot of our games barking out orders and coaching players up. Other players have had to take more control in his absence.”
Despite their collective youth and roster sans Euler, the Huskies remain a threat in the loaded Argo Sectional that also features Morton, Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South and LT. Regional playoffs begin on Oct. 18
The Huskies close out their regular season visiting New Trier on Friday.