Boys soccer keeps rolling, beats Meadows 1-0


Cooper O'Kelly, Lead Sports Editor

Scoreless for all but the final minute, Tuesday night’s soccer showdown between the Fremd Vikings and Rolling Meadows Mustangs was a thriller. The Vikings emerged victorious, improving to 13-1-1 overall while their opponents fall to 11-3-2.

Fremd stepped onto the turf at Rolling Meadows High School staring a determined Mustangs team, a team ready to play as hard as they could to take them down, in the face. 

After a gritty first half resulted in both teams putting up zero goals, everyone was heading into the break tied.

When asked about his team’s performance during the first portion of the game, Fremd head coach Steve Keller was critical. 

“To be honest, we really struggled,” Keller said. “We talked about playing a little more direct up to Eli [Schoffstall], instead of trying to possess the ball as much.”

Coming out of the break the defensive battle continued between the two teams. Senior defenders Beck Smolak, Braden Roos, and Caden Statz shined for the Vikings, but as time slipped from the clock the offense began to turn it on.

Despite the increased Fremd attack, Rolling Meadows stayed strong for quite some time. On both sides of the field, however, the goalkeepers were holding it down.

Keller speaks on the impact his own keeper, junior Robby Remian, has on the team and its success.

“Robby has had a couple huge saves in our last two games to preserve the shutout for us, where we almost kind of deserved to get scored on,” Keller said. “He’s been big. He’s stepped up to the occasion.”

In a match characterized by tough defense and good goalie play, it was ultimately Fremd junior Will Mayer’s perseverance that proved to be the deciding factor.

A crafty midfielder with blazing speed, Mayer is able to change games for the Vikings with his knack for creating plays and scoring opportunities. He stressed the importance of patience when asked about his performance on the offensive end. 

“The keeper on Rolling Meadows was a great keeper, he was very agile and was getting post to post,” Mayer said. “I was just waiting for my chance and there was one, and I had to take advantage of it.”

Following a defensive mix-up by the Mustangs he did just that, bagging a one-timer into the top right corner of the net off a beautiful cross from senior Dimitri Vlahos. 

That goal proved to be enough to put the Vikings on top, adding yet another win to their 2021 season and keeping them atop Illinois state rankings, but the team still isn’t satisfied. 

Fremd Soccer is a program with no lack of great teams in its history, but when asked what sets his current team apart, Keller was quick to respond.

“The first thing they were saying after the game last night was this kind of performance can’t happen again,” Keller said. “I think they set a goal of not losing a game, I think that’s their mindset.”

The Vikings close out their regular season with games against Hersey and Barrington, both of them at home. As for the state playoffs, this team will surely be doing everything in their power to prove to everyone that they’re the best team around.