Boys Soccer: Oswego edges Oswego EastOswego East goalie Sean Phetchanpheng, tries to dive underneath Oswego's charging Jesus Morales, left, and Oswego East's Danny Madrigal, right during their game at Oswego High School on Thursday, September 27, 2012. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 27, 2012 9:06PM
Thursday’s crosstown clash between Oswego East and host Oswego represented one extreme to another in contrasts.
For the majority of the first 77 minutes and 30 seconds, the contest was almost everything the Panthers desired, but the very end of the match saw the visiting Wolves nearly pull off a miraculous comeback only to lose 2-1 in the classic example of too little, too late.
When East’s Oscar Martinez had a 19-yard blast sail into the left side of the goal there was 2:27 left in regulation. And that was the Wolves’ very first shot on goal as well as overall attempt for the match.
Prior to that point, Oswego (8-5, 4-1 Southwest Prairie) had an eye-popping 24-0 advantage for overall attempts and a 12-0 edge in on-frame shots. Between two keepers and the Wolves’ defenders, East finished with three times as many saves as attempts, but that didn’t mean the Panthers’ home faithful were able to breathe easy until the very last seconds ticked away.
“We had not been playing as well as we’re capable and we didn’t want to get shut out, so I was just aiming to get a good shot off,” Martinez said. “Fortunately it curved into the left half of the goal and that gave us a chance.”
Reinvigorated by being down one, East (5-8-2, 1-4) actually managed three threats over the tail end of the contest with one try sailing high and another going wide, but there was also a potential equalizing cross in front of the Oswego goal that was deftly cleared by Michael Simmons.
“We’ve been building up to this match and I thought it was really our best team game of the year,” Oswego coach Travis Carlisle said. “We were focused and our defensive pressure, I just loved it, of course, I wanted us to get the clean sheet, but we lost our legs late in the match.
“Nevertheless our backline (Nick Nelson, Rodolfo Moreno, Christian Ortiz and Simmons) played fantastic despite being so young. Rodolfo leads from the middle, but they’re all very smart and able to read the play,” Carlisle added. “It started with them and worked up the field in terms of a team effort for the whole match. Our possession was a big factor and enabled us not to force things, but to just play with control.”
It also enabled Oswego to make attack after attack with a pay-off coming 24:03 into the contest when Panther goal leader Curtis Grysiewicz (12 goals) spotted Ryan Totsch in the clear for an 18-yard strike that first-half East keeper Sean Phetchanpheng was only able to touch before it found the back of the net.
“When I first go to the field, I told coach I felt like I could drop a bomb today, so when I saw the opening, I just took as hard a shot as I could,” noted Totsch, who also tallied his third goal of the year. “It’s always good to get a goal, but coming in a rivalry match it’s one of the best feelings.”
The margin grew to 2-0 just 7:11 into the second half when Jeremy Wine registered his team-best fifth assist by setting up Felipe Duran for a nine-yarder slipped past second-half Wolves goalie Danny Madrigal.
“I try to stay back in the box for a rebound or follow-up, in this case no one was marking me and Jeremy did a nice job getting the ball to me,” Duran explained. “It’s always exciting to score but it’s also a really good feeling to get up 2-0 on an opponent.”
“That was probably our worst first half of the year,” East coach Steve Szymanski admitted. “We need more consistency and play so much better when we’re relaxed; it was almost as if we were too hyped on the rivalry. They came out as the aggressors and had the better run of the play, so there was no doubt they were the better team today.”