While Morton may have derailed the OPRF soccer team’s postseason run last week with a 1-0 win in the semifinal of the Class 3A Argo Sectional, the Huskies will no doubt have nothing but fond memories of the 2010 season.
The team won 15 games this season and earned a consistent ranking as high as ninth in the state from both major daily newspapers. Wins over Downers Grove South, cross-town rival Fenwick and even Morton — though the Mustangs were without key starters at the time — during the regular season proved the Huskies to be a formidable opponent.
But it may take a little longer to get over Oct. 26’s sectional semifinal match against the Mustangs, who are ranked No. 2 in the state. Not only were both teams forced to battle blustery winds, but officials were quick to issue penalty cards. A player from each team received a red card during the match, and all three of Morton’s coaches were hit with yellow cards. After the game, OPRF goalkeeper Sam Euler was issued a red card for voicing his displeasure of the officiating to the refs.
“It does nothing,” said OPRF head coach Paul Wright of the post-game red card being issued to his starting goalkeeper, who finished with four saves. “The reffing was really poor.”
Wright didn’t blame the officiating on last week’s loss.
“In the second half we had several key chances, but nothing could materialize,” he added.
Led by the likes of Thomas Lamm, Steve Golz, Demeji Williams and Ryan Huettel, the Huskies were able to withstand the absence of Euler for a portion of the regular season. Euler, who is headed to play at North Carolina next season, missed seven games with mononucleosis. With Euler in the lineup, the Huskies went 10-3-3 and the senior earned six shutouts. He also assisted on a goal. Golz headed a long-ball kick from Euler for a goal against Hinsdale Central.
“Looking back I don’t think it impacted us that much,” said Wright of Euler being out. “He came back to help which was great, but we had trouble scoring goals all season.”
Lamm led the Huskies in goals for the season, scoring eight, while Golz finished with seven and Williams six. Although he loses Lamm and Euler to graduation, Wright has plenty of young players who proved themselves this season. Juniors Mike Bower (5 assists), Gian luca Locasto and Zack Wiegel, along with sophomores Elias El Mentennani and Max Menzies, played pivotal roles for the Huskies this season. They’re expected to make a big impact next year.