Stevenson senior midfielder Jeremy Kleinstein had been waiting all season to get on the soccer field.
Sidelined since suffering a knee injury just before the start of the season, Kleinstein started on senior night Tuesday against visiting Lake Zurich. As planned, he played only 10 seconds, hustling off the field after a ball was kicked out of bounds.
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Kleinstein watched the rest of the game from the sidelines, as Lake Zurich captured a 2-0 decision behind a couple of goals from Will O'Brien in the North Suburban Lake Division match.
"It was the first time I was able to put my shin guards on this season," Kleinstein said. "It was my first start and last start of my varsity career. I was just thankful that (coach Mark Schartner) gave me the opportunity to get out there. It was probably one of the best things in the world."
Kleinstein's injury happened the first day of tryouts while running 3 miles. He turned a corner and his right knee gave out.
"I have tendinitis and a partially torn tendon," Kleinstein said. "I was hoping to fight for a starting spot this season. I've been going through physical therapy and hoping that I don't have to go for an MRI."
Lake Zurich (5-8-2, 2-2) put together one of its best efforts of the season in stopping Stevenson (11-3-1, 4-1), which is in the NSC Lake title chase with Warren (4-1) and Libertyville (3-0-1).
"This is how we thought we would play all year, and we've done it for the most part," Lake Zurich coach Michael Schmitz said. "Sometimes it hasn't gone our way. I think we've set a record for 1-goal losses. It's nice to come up on the other end and good to see a solid effort all the way through."
O'Brien opened the scoring in the 18th minute off an assist from Tim Burroughs. O'Brien added his second goal in the 49th minute after taking a pass from Ian Hesch.
"I used to play with (Stevenson goalie Quentin Low), the No. 1 goalie in the state," O'Brien said. "I had to rip a shot."
Lake Zurich keeper Mike Savio made 11 stops in earning a clean sheet. He got help from defenders Jack Abry, Kevin Loch, Colin Foote, James Blasko and Dan Ross.
"The huge part that helped me was the defense," Savio said. "They made my job a lot easier. I was able to get in the right positions for the shots. I owe it all to them."
Stevenson had been unbeaten in its last five games.
"We haven't felt like this since the beginning of the season," Schartner said. "There's a little shock value going on here. I'm not sure if it was the senior night distraction or what it was. We didn't come out and finish."