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updated: 9/7/2013 7:14 PM

Fremd struggles against Sandburg

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By Mike Garofola
Daily Herald Correspondent

After a less-than-sparkling 80 minutes Saturday in the heat against Sandburg (3-2-0), Fremd faces an interesting training session Monday.

The Vikings (1-3-1) never found their pace during a 1-0 defeat in the final match of the annual Best of the West tournament on the turf of host Naperville Central, going 0-3-0 to end their first week of action.

"We didn't play as poorly as we did in our tournament opener against (Naperville) Central, but today the effort wasn't anywhere near where it should be," said Fremd coach Steve Keller, who has only three holdovers from his 2012 regional championship squad. "And when we fell behind just after the break, it felt like the team had conceded defeat -- and that's not something that's going to work around here.

"Tactically we're just not there yet, and our work rate isn't as high as it should be either. But we'll get back at it next week and get ready for a very busy week of soccer."

The Vikings are on the road Tuesday to face Rolling Meadows, then host Hersey before welcoming Peoria Notre Dame, Hinsdale Central and Mid-Suburban League West rival Schaumburg for a two-day invitational that starts Friday.

The attack of the Eagles (3-2-0) was vibrant during the final 10 minutes of the first half, and the momentum carried over when Seamus Flanagan finished in close with a nice one-touch after Joseph Labriola and Abe Ziad set up their sophomore teammate.

This trio and Przemyslaw Tylka had plenty of touches in the middle that kept the Vikings from building much. If not for a wonderful save by keeper Dylan Fisher on a wicked drive from Flanagan, the Eagles could have doubled their advantage in the 51st minute.

Fremd finally showed some life when Keller brought Zach Schoffstall back on at the hour mark. He combined with Nathan Dolan and Brock VonHolt to put some pressure on the Eagles. Off a counter, VonHolt fired wide, and another counter initiated by Austin Bratkiv and Jacob Cuthbert nearly put VonHolt in range. But a timely tackle by Trent Sichelski kept VonHolt from getting a shot on keeper Scott Swiontek.

The Vikings created consecutive corners and two deep throws from Schoffstall in the final eight minutes, but Sichelski and his backline teammates preserved the shutout.

"We learned a lot about this team and its players this week at the tournament, so we'll work on putting together a group that we'll go with, and take it from there," Keller said.

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