Joliet Central one-ups MarianJoliet Central’s Eduardo Espinoza (right) collides
with Marian Catholics Zachary Henry in the first half
during the Reavis Ram Classic Soccer Invite
Tuesday in Chicago Heights August, 23, 2011.
Ray Luna ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 23, 2011 10:06PM
It didn’t take much thought as to which player should take the penalty kick that decided the outcome of Tuesday’s Windy City Ram Classic soccer match between Joliet Central and Marian Catholic.
The Steelmen decided that the “brain” of the team should be the player to have the honors.
The Steelmen chose well, as Aaron Faynik converted the only goal of the game by faking to his left and drilling the ball into the lower right corner of the goal for a 1-0 Joliet victory with 1:18 left to play in the match in Chicago Heights.
“He is the brain of their team,’’ Marian Catholic coach Nasser Shahtaji said. “It seemed like all the balls go through him.’’
Joliet controlled the game from the start but it appeared the game would go to overtime. That changed when a ball came across the Marian (0-1) goal crease and hit one of the defenders in the arm. The ref ruled that the ball was intentionally hit and awarded the Steelmen the penalty kick.
“Overtime had me shuttering. I was getting nervous thinking about it,’’ Faynik said. “I was focusing on going to my better side but I had to deke him first.’’
“(Faynik) is our holding forward,’’ Central coach Eduardo Contreras said. “He will scored his share of goals, but he also does all the dirty work for us.’’
The Steelmen (1-0) dominated ball possession, with but had a hard time converting that into quality shots. Joliet recorded eight shots on goal but most of those came from outside of 20 yards.
“We are a senior-dominated team this year,’’ Contreras said. “They packed it in on us and we wanted to possess the ball and have them chase and get tired.’’
Eduardo Espinosa was a major factor in the first half from the left forward spot. He had five shots on goal, and along with Faynik and Miguel Diaz was a major reason the Steelmen dominated ball-possession.
“Eduardo is a solid all-around player,’’ Contreras said. “It’s good to have a lefty of his quality on that side. He is smart and uses that instead of quickness.’’
Jesus Comacho faced just three shots in the Joliet goal as Marian changed tactics in the second half to drop two forwards back to the midfield in order to take away the possession game.
“They were technically a superior team to us,’’ Shahtaji said. “They really played hard the whole game.’’
Windy City Ram Classic
Bremen 4, Providence 1: Max Picard scored the lone goal on an assist from Nate White for Providence in the team’s season opener at Marian Catholic.
Argo 3, Joliet West 0: Visiting West fell in the team’s season opener.
Lemont 2, St. Ignatius 1: Kyle Koehler and Tommy Gasienica each had a goal for visiting Lemont (2-0).
Metea Valley 25-25, Joliet West 16-10: Visiting West fell in its season opener.
Reed-Custer 23-25-25, Gardner-South Wilmington 25-9-17: Host Reed-Custer won the team’s season opener.
Minooka 198, Plainfield East 219: Rachel Herzberger shot a 45 to earn co-medalist honors and lead Minooka in the SouthWest Prairie match at Heritage Bluffs Golf Club. Jasmine Wissinger shared medalist honors, shooting a 45 for Plainfield East.
Oswego 168, Plainfield South 171: Matt Ward was the medalist with a 1-under 35 for Plainfield South in the SouthWest Prairie match at Blackberry Oaks Golf Course.
Lincoln-Way Central 149, Sandburg 158: Tom Schuman was the medalist, shooting a 1-under 35, and Tony Kestel shot a 36 to lead Central in the SouthWest Suburban crossover at Sanctuary Golf Course.
Lockport triangular: Wheaton-Warrenville South co-op (138 points) outlasted Lockport (128) and Plainfield co-op (61) for the victory. Amanda Moran won the 100-yard backstroke (1 minute, 2.26 seconds) and the 100 butterfly (1:01.65) for Lockport.
Contributing: Chris Murphy