Sanchez' late goal lifts Lyons
Updated: June 21, 2011 10:59AM
As he has been so many times in his career, Horacio Sanchez was in the right place at the right time Thursday night, scoring twice from close range to lift No. 1 Lyons to a 2-1 victory over Oak Park at Bennett Field in Western Springs.
Sanchez, a senior forward, now has a team-leading 14 goals for the host Lions (14-1-2), who won their sixth straight match and clinched at least a share of their third consecutive West Suburban Conference Silver Division championship and fifth in the last six years.
The game-winning strike came with 19:15 remaining in the second half when defender Peter Kralovec-Kirchhoff sent a long throw-in from the left sideline which found the head of Sanchez, who nodded the ball inside the left post from six yards out.
"Some people say that I'm cherry-picking," Sanchez said. "Not to sound cocky, but I've played the game long enough that stuff like that can happen and it happens for me at the right times. Good thing it happened today because we needed that second goal to take conference."
Kralovec-Kirchherr, who also had an assist on Sanchez's first goal, is becoming an offensive threat in his own right because of his strong, accurate throws.
"This is the second time K.K.' has put it right on my head," Sanchez said. "I don't know what else to ask from him. He's doing his job and doing it well.
"He's giving me goals so I appreciate that. It makes me look good and I want to make sure he looks good, too."
Even though defenses know to key on Sanchez, the Lions still look to get him the ball whenever they can.
"We know he's dangerous when he gets the ball in the box," Kralovec-Kirchherr said. "Most people are, but him especially. He's big and he was able to get that out of the air. We just look for the long throw and he was able to get his head on that one."
The Lions took a 1-0 lead just nine minutes into the contest. Kralovec-Kirchherr sent a long cross from deep in the left corner to the right side of the Oak Park penalty area, where Elliot Borge quickly settled it and slid a pass in front to Sanchez for a four-yard tap-in.
The Huskies (11-4-2, 3-2) tied it exactly two minutes later when Gian luca Locasto buried his own rebound past Lyons' goalie Jeremiah Enright, who a split-second before had made a diving stop on a point-blank shot by Locasto.
But that was to be the only decent scoring chance for Oak Park, which was outshot 21-8 in suffering their second one-goal loss in three days.
"I just don't think our effort was there as much as it was on Tuesday night [a 3-2 shootout loss at Downers Grove North]," Locasto said. "It was unlucky that we didn't win that, but we just couldn't win any balls in the air here. [The Lions] had a lot of big size.
"It's hard because we were right there, 1-1 and then for them to get one more, it breaks our heart."