Oak Park and River Forest High School's varsity boys soccer team defeated Kelly High School, 3-0, Friday, September 23, 2011. Photo by J.Geil

The OPRF soccer team responded after a tough loss in penalty kicks to Glenbard West with a dominating 3-0 win over Kelly on Friday night at Oak Park Stadium.

Aided by two goals from senior forward Stephen Golz, the Huskies trounced Kelly to improve to 10-2-1 on the season.

“It was a great game on our team’s part. We suffered a tough loss last night, so it was good to bounce back and get a 3-0 win at home,” said Golz after the victory. “The energy and livelihood of this game really uplifted our team.”

The Huskies notched their first goal at the 20-minute mark of the first half. enior Ryan Huettel took control of the ball, ran down the left flank, and rocketed a cross toward the goal box. The Kelly defenders converged on an open Golz, who simply rose up above the defenders and smashed the ball into the back of the net.

“Ryan [Huettel] put in a perfect cross from the left side and all I had to do was tap the ball in for a goal,” said Golz.

OPRF began the second half by dominating possession. The Huskies had several prime opportunities to score a second goal, but weren’t able to convert.

That was until Huettel received a pass at midfield and scampered down the field. He took a shot between two defenders outside the zone to score.

The Huskies put the game out of reach when senior Henry Burt took off along the right side and shot a cross toward the center of the pitch. The ball carried to Golz, who headed it in for a thunderous final goal.

“To come out today and score a few goals, move the ball around, and get some crosses and shots off was big relief for the team,” said OPRF head coach Paul Wright, who also lauded the performances of both junior Andrew Gallo and senior Mike Bower.

Gallo had to step in to replace an injured Granger Shepherd at goalkeeper. Gallo made two diving saves in order to preserve the shutout. Bower, an all-conference selection at the center-midfield position for his efforts at the Pepsi Showdown, was complimented by his coach as “constantly moving and very aggressive.”

While depth has played a key role in OPRF’s success this season, Golz added that team chemistry has also played a big part.

“We’re all very tight-knit, so what happens off the field comes onto the field, allowing us to play well together,” he said.

Wright concurred with Golz, saying, “We don’t have any superstars. we play as one unit. All season we’ve said that one is greater than 11, the team that plays as one will always beat any 11.”

The Huskies fell to Glenbard West 1-0 in penalty kicks in their second West Suburban (Silver) Conference game of the season last week. OPRF blanked York 2-0 in the conference opener. Dave Leitson and Golz both scored for the Huskies, who host cross-town rival Fenwick on Friday (6:30 p.m.).

There will be no charge for the OPRF vs. Fenwick game, according to Wright. A booth will be set up with booster parents asking for a small donation be made to Maeve’s Foundation, a local organization focused on aiding in the early detection of brain tumors in children.

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