Boys Soccer: Frankie Rios’ hat trick spurt fuels Highland Park victory

Updated: September 20, 2012 10:03PM

If you are Maine East, just blame it on Rios.

In a huge Central Suburban League boys soccer match Thursday, Highland Park’s Frankie Rios had the game of his life. The senior midfielder netted three goals over a 10-minute span in the second half, as the Giants beat Maine East 4-2.

“He (Rios) wasn’t doing much in the first half, not showing a lot of energy,” Highland Park coach Blake Novotny said. “We moved him up top in the second half and things clicked for him.”

With his team trailing 1-0 at the half, Rios struck 25 seconds into the second half. Taking a feed from Nikita Katsman, Rios bounced a left-footed shot over Blue Demons goalkeeper David Patyk to tie the game. Then in the 47th minute, Rios struck again, giving the Giants a 2-1 lead. Three minutes later, he converted his third goal just in front of the Maine East net on a perfect feed from Katsman.

Rami Dajani scored both goals for Maine East. Ryan Nedoss added a late goal for Highland Park.

The victory guarantees Highland Park at least a tie for the CSL North crown

“It’s now two years in a row we’ve tied for conference and that hasn’t happened in 15 years,” Novotny said.

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