Jose Gallegos played against Batavia a year ago, but it was in a freshman soccer game.
The West Aurora sophomore was on the big stage though during Wednesday's nonconference game in Batavia, scoring the equalizer and helping the Blackhawks rally for a 3-1 victory.
Contact information ( * required )
It was the third come-from-behind effort from the Blackhawks in as many games this fall.
"In all three (games) we've been down and what I like about these guys is who cares what the score is," West Aurora coach Joe Sustersic said. "We've got three sophomores and four juniors starting and we've got two seniors who played JV last year or (sat on the bench) on the varsity."
Batavia (0-3-0) took a brief 1-0 lead with 28:18 remaining in the opening half. It wasn't a picturesque goal by any stretch of the imagination, but more of a painful one to watch, as David Curnock collided head-on with goalkeeper Alex Guillen's attempt to clear the ball.
"Just a hustle goal," Batavia coach Mark Gianfrancesco said. "He's definitely good at the hustle goals. He'll go at it."
West Aurora (2-0-1) wasted little time in responding as Gallegos scored his first varsity goal on a header with 25:48 remaining in the opening half.
The teams battled for possession for the rest of the first half, as well as nearly the first ten minutes of the second half before West Aurora junior forward Steve Rivera stepped up and bounced a shot that eluded the reach of Batavia keeper Michael Rueffer with 30:07 on the clock.
"We just have to play as a team and keep everybody up and win as a team," Rivera said. "We just talk and tell everybody how good we can do when we play as a team."
The Blackhawks seemingly put the game out of reach when senior Juan Cerda dribbled down the right sideline before blasting a shot off the inside of the crossbar and into the net with only 12:40 remaining.
"(Our guys) don't care what the score is, what the scenario is, they're going to fight," Sustersic said. "I know I'm going to say the wrong cliché, but it's not the size of the dog, but the bark of the dog or bite of the dog and that's what happened."
The Bulldogs have little chance to recuperate from their wounds, with a match scheduled against Streamwood Thursday.
"We're seeing some glimpses there, but it comes down to consistency," Gianfrancesco said. "It's tough to tell a high school boy to be patient. They want the result and want to get the 'W' and it's hard to calm them down on that."