Going down a man could've caused quite a dilemma for Round Lake's boys soccer team.
Not only were they vulnerable in the game at hand, but a loss to Lakes could very well have ended up costing them a chance at winning the North Suburban Prairie title.
Instead, the Panthers found strength in their remaining numbers -- 10 of them -- and got past visiting Lakes 2-1 in Round Lake on Thursday.
Brothers Eddie and Freddie Ramirez scored the Panthers' goals.
"These guys played with their heart," Round Lake coach Hugo Tellez said. "These guys, when they lose a guy, they play with more heart out on the field."
Round Lake (6-2, 2-0) lost a player due to two yellow cards; that player had to leave with the accumulated red card in the 52nd minute.
Lakes (6-2, 1-1) had earned a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Round Lake in the North Shore Shootout championship game just 12 days ago at Lake Forest. But this time, the Eagles had their six-game winning streak snapped.
"If we win, then we win," Tellez said. "This was a rivalry game (against Lakes). But we have other games yet to play."
Already a man down, Round Lake's Eddie Ramirez scored off a feed from Mariano Narvaez for a 1-0 lead in the 62nd minute.
Two minutes later, Lakes tied the match as Lucas Istvanek found the back of the net off a Caleb Arnwine end line pass.
The Panthers' Sergio Gomez sent a low cross that freshman Freddie Ramirez (7 goals) one-timed for the game-winning goal.
"I just saw Mauricio (Salgado) running for the first post and Freddie making a run for the second post," said Gomez, who came off the bench and earned his first assist. "They always make the runs and we practice them.
"It was a great run and I just had to get a good ball to get there. It's just confidence -- playing from your heart. We practice those every day and everybody does it."
Round Lake keeper Jose Martinez made 7 stops, while Lakes keeper Kevin Ray made 13 saves and kept the Eagles in the game.
'Defensively, I thought we did an outstanding job throughout the entire game," Lakes coach Kevin Kullby said. "We got countered on two situations for the goals. We were pressing and pressing. We were not maintaining discipline in all parts of the field.
"We had chances to score and Round Lake came up with some great defensive plays. It was an even game, and that's just how it goes. I didn't think we played all that badly."