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Boys soccer overcomes Buffalo Grove onslaught in 1-0 victory

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Boys soccer overcomes Buffalo Grove onslaught in 1-0 victory

Matthew Conway, Sports Editor

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In a hard-fought, defensive affair, the Fremd boys soccer team won on Sept. 20, 1-0, against Buffalo Grove. The game featured numerous highlights by both teams throughout the course of the game. Penalties galore in the final few minutes somewhat disrupted the game’s flow, but both teams settled into a rhythm and matched each other kick for kick, shot for shot. Evenly matched across the board, the game and the teams involved were as competitive as they come in that

Junior forward Russell Beaupre scored the lone goal, remaining consistently active in the box and creating havoc near Buffalo Grove’s end line. The Bison of BG held firm, however, and only let one goal slip through. A stout defensive effort was led by defenders and team captains Brian Hanus and Christian Kozaczka. Buffalo Grove head coach Darren Llewellyn led his team out with a ferocious and aggressive attack, but the Fremd team proved to be ready for every obstacle which they encountered.

Fremd head coach Steven Keller summed up his team’s philosophy.

“We respect Buffalo Grove’s fight, grit, tenacity and approach to the game,” Keller said. “They got after us early and made us work from the get-go. We’re pleased to get the shutout, but at the same time disappointed because we know it’s got to be better, we have to build on this. We’ve challenged our players as coaches to come out and put teams away, and we’ve let many teams hang around, so we’ve got to improve on that.”

Other standouts for the Vikings were junior defender Jake Schoffstall, junior defenseman Kaelan Conway and senior midfielder Anthony Tambellini. Swift ball movement kept the Bison defenders on their toes and constantly changing position, but Fremd found it tough to navigate past the Buffalo Grove defense and was repeatedly stonewalled upon attempting to put a shot past BG keeper Adam Sempoch.

In the first half, Fremd maintained control of possession but was unable to get on the scoreboard until the 25th minute, when senior midfielder Dorian Lesiuk punched in a goal to give the Vikings the lead. The Bison immediately went on the counter, keeping up a relentless stream of steady ball movement and high percentage shots for the rest of the game. Fremd answered back with a high powered offensive attack propelled by forwards Eli Schoffstall, Josh Bennett and Ryan Cox.

Schoffstall, while knowing his team won against the Bison, who entered the game ranked first in the MSL, still sees some areas that need fixing.

“It was a hard-fought game, we pulled it out 1-0… we didn’t play the best, but we just kept fighting and persevering,” Schoffstall said. “We played well overall, sometimes the skill wasn’t there, sometimes we made mental mistakes, but we still got the win. (Buffalo Grove) was one of the tougher teams we’ve played.” 

Conway reiterated Fremd’s need to improve despite the win.

“We played hard throughout the game, we moved the ball well but could have been more consistent with many of our decisions,” Conway said.

It was a battle of defensive heavyweights, to be sure, and in the end, the Vikings emerged victorious. With the win, it advances Fremd’s chances in conference, as they beat Buffalo Grove, unseating the squad which was leading the conference heading into the game. The Vikings improve to 7-3-1 on the year, and will be one of the top contenders for the MSL championship this season.

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Boys soccer overcomes Buffalo Grove onslaught in 1-0 victory