Stagg takes down Brother RiceBrother Rice's Justin Vainer (left) and Stagg's Adrian Cup battle for the ball during their soccer game in Palos Hills Thursday, September 8, 2011. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 8, 2011 9:17PM
After three years at Brother Rice, all-state soccer player Greg Healy transferred to Stagg before this season.
Thursday, Healy met his former squad for the first time since transferring. Stagg topped Brother Rice 4-2 in Palos Hills.
“Players here and there have to leave once in a while,” Brother Rice assistant Victor Ramirez, filling in for coach Nick Markulin, who missed the game for personal reasons, said. “To be honest, we miss him, but we have enough players to move forward.”
Brother Rice can downplay losing Healy all it wants, but the fact remains, after falling to Stagg the Crusaders are winless at 0-4-3 and the Chargers are undefeated at 6-0-1.
With three Brother Rice players on Healy at all times, he wasn’t able to score in his reunion with his old squad, but the win shows Stagg has other options.
“It was tough, and I have all the respect in the world for Rice,” Healy said. “We aren’t just one player, though.”
From 25 yards out Roberto Torres found Tony Estrada for a header to make it 1-0 Stagg 14 minutes into the match. Thirty-five seconds later, Brother Rice’s Jordan Rand cleared a ball from midfield that floated right over the hands of Chargers goalie Eric Estrada and into the back of the net on a fly to make it 1-1.
Eighteen minutes later, Teo Tueres made it 2-1 in favor of the Crusaders, Rice, knocking in a ball that pinballed off four players in front of the Chargers net.
The second half was all Stagg, as the Chargers outshot the Crusaders 10-2.
After Stagg defender Mike Rusnak saved a wide-open Charger net, heading away a Rice shot that seemed destined for a goal 10 minutes into the second half, the Chargers rattled off three straight goals.
Conrad Polinski sent a deep ball to a streaking Torres behind the Crusaders defense to make it 2-all a minute later. Three minutes later, Casey Morf sent a free kick from 25 yards out to Dino Karas in front of the net to make it 3-2. Torres crossed a pass from Estrada to Karas for the final goal with just under four minutes remaining.
Even with Healy not on the stat sheet, his presence was felt.
“He’s an All-Stater, so of course he’s a huge addition,” Karas said. “He gives us another target, so defenses take their eyes off our other options at the top.”