The Oak Park and River Forest High School boys soccer team remained on a roll in its playoff opener. After closing out the regular season strong with nine wins in 10 matches, the Huskies blanked Argo 2-0 in a semifinal match of the Downers Grove South Regional.

Senior defender Mavin Gill scored two goals to power the Huskies offensively. Gill, who leads the team with nine goals on the season, notched the first two-goal game of his career.

Gill’s first goal occurred with 28:12 left in the first half off a long free kick from midfield by Quentin Drane.

“Our leading scorer is our sweeper, which is unbelievable,” OPRF coach Paul Wright said.

Gill scored again off a Drane corner kick with 16:46 left in the second half. Gill has been very effective scoring off set pieces this fall, while Drane leads the Huskies in assists.

“That was a fantastic goal,” Gill said about his second score. “”I think it might have even gone in even if I didn’t touch it. It was a fantastic cross [by Drane], and I just got lucky. I was sitting at the back post waiting for it.

“[Drane] told me before [that] he was going to put it at the back post, so I went there, got lucky and got it in.”

Goalkeeper William Dunne had two saves en route to the Huskies’ ninth shutout.

OPRF (12-5-1, 4-2 West Suburban [Silver]) faces Downers Grove South next in the regional final on Friday, Oct. 24. DGS is 14-2-4 this season. Argo finished the season with a 12-7 record.

The winner between OPRF and DGS, seeded fifth and fourth in the sectional, advances to the Lyons Township Sectional semifinals.

The Huskies are playing their best soccer over the past few weeks. Since a loss to Hinsdale Central, OPRF has reeled off four wins by outscoring the opposition, collectively, 14-0.  The team also earned a 3-0 win over cross-town rival Fenwick, 3-0 to claim the Prevail Cup at the start of October.

Along with Gill Drane and Dunne, key contributors for OP during the team’s recent hot streak include defender Graham Nagle-Deamer, midfielders Harrison Engoren, Noah Fluharty, Evan Kindler and Joe Gullo along with forwards Zach El Metennani and Andrew Barkidija.

Matt Le Cren contributed to this story.

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Marty Farmer

The Illinois Press Association recently honored Marty with the 1st & 2nd Place Awards for Best Sports Feature for his article He's in an Oak Park state of mind: Former OPRF star Iman Shumpert returns...

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