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updated: 8/31/2013 4:16 PM

Strong second half powers St. Viator

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By Mike Garofola
Daily Herald Correspondent

Javier Romero rescued St. Viator went it appeared the Lions were destined for defeat.

And some eight minutes later Zach Gyuricza struck the game-winner against Prospect in a 3-1 victory Saturday afternoon on the turf George Gattas Stadium in Mt. Prospect.

A late own-goal ended the Knights' hopes for good as host Prospect saw its early season record fall to 0-2-1.

"This was the first time in our three games that we had the lead, and we just didn't manage it well enough to hold (St. Viator) off," said Knights captain Zach Surico, one of five returning players from a squad which finished with a flurry last season that included five straight victories, among them a 2-1 triumph over Conant to capture a regional title.

"I don't know if it was the fact this was our third game in five days, or a few injuries that we're dealing with, but we didn't play as well in the second half as the first, and St. Viator did," said Prospect coach Kurt Trenkle.

After waiting for over an hour to start due to lightning delays, the hosts opened well as Dominic Taldone steered in a low drive past a diving Tom Martin just two minutes into the contest.

"That was kind of a rough start for us, allowing such an easy goal like we did, but we got some things worked out at the break and played a much better second half of soccer," said St. Viator senior Ethan Wolf, who is wearing the captain's armband for coach Mike Taylor.

Wolf kept Knights keeper Jack Cooney busy with several well-aimed long throws, many of which found their way into the 6-yard box. One perfect toss forced Cooney to elevate and clear with a timely punch with both gloves.

The Lions had a goal called back in the first half and another great chance when Spencer Moore furnished a lovely ball. But both Mateo Leudo and Ryan Henry each were unable to catch up to the serve at the back post.

The visitors were much sharper after the break, enjoying much of the run of play during the second period. If not for the work from Cooney and some timely tackles from the back line, the Lions may have found the back of the net sooner than Romero's equalizer at 67 minutes.

The junior drew his club even after another long throw from Wolfe spilled free to the awaiting Romero, who never hesitated before driving his 18-yarder home.

Eight minutes later, Gyuricza thumped his header past the outstretched gloves of Cooney with teammate Miles McDonnell supplying a wonderful ball to the back post.

"We didn't come out and play particularly well, but with that said, we only gave them one good chance in that first half, which they finished, and maybe another quality chance in the second," said Taylor. "In between, we possessed pretty well and came back from 1 goal down to scoring 3 in the second half -- and that's not too bad."

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