Boys Soccer: Oak Park-River Forest holds off York rally

Updated: September 18, 2012 10:48PM

Oak Park-River Forest was too good to be stuck in reverse.

Senior forward Sam Dull scored a goal and assisted another in the first half to stake the host Huskies to a commanding lead before they survived a York rally for the 3-2 conference victory Tuesday night in Oak Park.

It was the fifth victory in the last six games for the Huskies (6-5-1, 1-1 West Suburban Silver) after they started the year just 1-4-1.

Oak Park-River Forest is also benefitting from the return of top player, senior Gianluca Lo Casto, from a dislocated left shoulder. The senior midfielder scored his first goal of the year in the 21st minute on a beautiful feed from Dull.

“We did a good job of possessing in the first half,” Dull said. After scoring just four goals in their first six games, the Huskies have shown a vastly improved offensive attack. Oak Park-River Forest applied near constant pressure against the Dukes. Their pressure eventually wore York out.

Dull also tallied his first goal of the year in the 29th minute on a beautiful feed from senior midfielder Okker Verhagen. “He made a beautiful pass and it was an easy finish,” Dull said.

Oak Park-River Forest coach Paul Wright, who was forced by illness to watch the game from the pressbox, made a vital switch to better facilitate movement and ball pressure by moving Verhagen to the center of their attack. “Before that, we could not get him the ball and now he’s able to control it and get other people involved,” Lo Casto said.

“We’ve had a lot of new guys step up, and we’ve been practicing really hard with finishing,” Lo Casto said.

Up 2-0 at the break, Oak Park-River Forest appeared to turn the game into a rout after junior midfielder Tim Huettel scored on a rebound in the 55th minute. The Huskies survived several defensive lapses the Dukes jumped on.

York (2-6-1, 0-2) finally got untracked on a goal by John Landou in the 58th minute. Dave Ireland scored in the 77th minute to narrow the margin. Oak Park-River Forest controlled the final three minutes for their first conference victory.

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