Senior forward Easton Bogard and senior defender Diego Zarate each scored twice to help lead the Oak Park and River Forest High School boys soccer team to a 5-0 victory over Willowbrook on Aug. 26 at the Addison Trail Invitational.

The Huskies (2-0) started this season on a high note Aug. 21 with a comeback 3-1 home victory over St. Ignatius. 

It marked the 100th career win for OPRF coach Jason Fried, who admitted he had no idea until a reporter mentioned it afterwards.

“I’m not sure exactly how he knew,” said Fried, now in his eighth season. “But it feels good. A lot of coaches and players have really worked hard all these years, and their families as well as mine have been a part of it. It’s a cool milestone, but let’s keep going forward.”

Bogard, who’s been on the varsity all four years, is one of Chicagoland’s top players. Last season, which saw OPRF finish 16-4 and reach the IHSA Class 3A sectional semifinals, Bogard tallied 22 goals and added 13 assists, both team highs.

He is one of six returning starters for the Huskies. Junior midfielder Bryce Richards, who scored the go-ahead goal in the 74th minute against St. Ignatius, had 14 goals and 10 assists in 2022, while senior goalkeeper Christian Dussias posted a 0.82 goals-against average.

OPRF’s other returnees include senior forward Robert Sambou, senior midfielder Charlie Maguire and senior defenders Zarate, Isaac Felder and Ben Naber. Senior midfielder Nate Day along with senior goalkeeper Cameron Smith are newcomers looking to make an impact this fall.

“I’m overall feeling very positive about this team, and we’ll definitely put together some high-quality soccer,” Fried said.

Matches at Fenwick and Riverside-Brookfield along with invitationals at Addison Trail, Streamwood and in Bettendorf, Iowa, at the Great River Classic highlight OPRF’s non-conference schedule. 

“The Great River is an invitational loaded with quality competition,” Fried. “It’s a couple of weeks before the postseason, so it’ll help us get ready.”

Fenwick opens season with 2 wins

Fenwick High School began this season with a pair of wins at the J. Buckner Classic hosted by Chicago University High last week.

Senior striker Ian MacKinnon scored twice on Aug. 25 to lead the Friars to a 2-0 victory over Chicago Latin. The following day, senior defender John Ballarin, junior midfielder Sam Allaire and junior midfielder Ryan Agozo each tallied goals, while senior midfielder James Zimmer added two assists in Fenwick’s 3-0 win over U-High.

It’s a promising start for the Friars, looking to bounce back after a 7-10-2 2022 season that ended with an opening-round loss to Steinmetz in the IHSA Class 2A playoffs.

“We have shown an improved level of maturity on and off the field, and this group has improved tremendously over the last few weeks,” he said. “We’re looking to be consistent with defending, attacking, and overall control the controllable in terms of preparation, energy, and effort.”

Zimmer and fellow midfielder and classmate Evan Hickman made the Chicago Catholic League All-Conference Team last fall, and Zimmer also made the All-Sectional Team. Each scored five goals, while senior midfielder Jake Brecknock is the Friars’ top returning goal-scorer, having tallied seven. 

Sophomore goalkeeper Dominick Ballarin made 75 saves and posted a 2.27 GAA. Allaire and MacKinnon are other key returnees.

Sophomore defender/midfielder Matthew Simon, junior midfielder/defender Jack Kupiec and senior midfielders Agozo and Armando Castro are newcomers hoping to help the Friars.

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