Stagg edges out Argo in final
Updated: September 3, 2011 6:02PM
Considering Argo and Stagg had given up a combined four goals in eight games of the Windy City Ram Classic, it was not surprising when the two squared off in the championship game Saturday at Toyota Park, one goal would be the difference.
That goal went to Stagg’s Greg Healy, as the Chargers won the game and tournament championship 1-0 with Healy earning tournament MVP honors.
“These guys have worked really hard,” Stagg coach Mike Kealy, who played soccer at Argo under current coach John Gaytan, said. “They’ve been in camp since June and we’ve been preparing day by day to get better, so they deserve this.
“We still got a lot of work to do though.”
After receiving two yellow cards in his previous game, Argo (5-1) was without its best player Jakub Sutowski and in the first 10 minutes it seemed as though it was only a matter of time for Stagg to bust the game wide open. Argonauts goalie Jesus Ortiz apparently didn’t get the memo that Argo was supposed to lay down, making three magnificent saves in the first 10 minutes.
Argo put pressure on Stagg (5-0-1) in the first half, putting five shots on goal and setting up five corner kicks, but nothing went into the net.
Stagg came out firing in the second half, but Ortiz made two more game-saving stops to keep the game scoreless. With 17:31 left in the second half and the game seemingly headed for overtime, Healy turned and fired a laser from 25 yards out past a diving Ortiz and into the right corner of the net.
“I just went for the opportunity and I got lucky I guess,” Healy said. “We’ve got momentum now and we’re looking to keep that going.”
Gaytan was proud with the performance his team put forth with its best player on the sideline.
“We were there until the end,” Gaytan said. “That goal was a great shot and Healy was the difference.
“Our motto for the season is ‘no excuses’, so we aren’t going to make any now.”