Glenbard South took on a huge challenge during Thursday's nonconference boys soccer match at Addison Trail.
The Class 2A Raiders were not only playing a 3A school, but one that's risen in the rankings this season and considered by many as one of the better teams in the state.
Glenbard South (4-4-3) fell behind 2-0 in the first half but showed the resolve to battle back, ultimately scoring the equalizer in the second half to leave Addison with a satisfying 3-3 draw.
"They're a great team and program and we knew that coming into the game," Glenbard South coach Melissa Pero said. "I teach the guys to respect whoever you play, regardless if it's 2A, 3A or 1A, and tonight we were able to fight back and put the ball in the net."
Addison Trail (10-2-1) got off to a great start and appeared ready to bury the Raiders with goals from senior Javier Rodriguez and junior Trey Smith to take a 2-0 lead.
"We always tell the guys to play with heart and passion no matter the score," Pero said. "Some games it works, and some it doesn't."
It most definitely worked for the Raiders on Thursday.
Standout senior Thomas Gkotse has risen to become the leading scorer for the Raiders this season, but he used his passing ability to help his team battle back. Gkotse assisted on a Ludwig Castelan score before Krystian Gebis did the same on a Vlad Popov goal. Meanwhile, the Blazers picked up an insurance tally from junior Caesar Chavez to take a 3-2 lead at halftime.
"You have to give them credit because they came to play and they challenged us," Addison Trail coach Ryan Dini said. "We were up 3-2 there and then they bounce one here and there and then it's a tied game."
The all-important goal came from Glenbard South senior Moo Htaw, who scored the equalizer for the only scoring in the second half.
"I was just trying to score a goal hard, and coach told me when you have a chance to just do it," Htaw said. "We knew they were one of the top teams, so we feel proud we were able to get back."
Both squads had their fair share of chances to score the elusive fourth goal, but neither was able to deliver.
Smith and Rodriguez had a nice exchange with less than two minutes left, but Rodriguez's shot was batted away. Gkotse sent a nice feed to Gebis with 33 seconds left, but a header drifted far right.
"It's not the end of the world, and with our conference we're getting challenged every time," Dini said. "We just haven't been the same the past two games and hopefully we'll turn it around."