If Thursday's match was any indication, the Upstate Eight River Conference is going to be a whole lot of fun and competitive as the leaves slowly turn colors.
Using a header off a free kick from fellow sophomore Jonny Acevedo with just 55.9 seconds remaining, St. Charles North's Ryan Olson stunned Geneva, 2-1.
"I was going into the box and was looking at the scoreboard and seeing a tie, and I knew we needed to score one to win," Olson said. "As soon as I saw the ball, I said 'This is mine,' and I just went all in and tried to get it."
While Olson will always remember his clutch game-winner, he also will probably never forget the jaw-dropping bicycle kick equalizer that senior teammate Chris Watson delivered with just 28.4 seconds on the clock before halftime.
Acevedo delivered a perfect feed to Watson, who with his back turned to the goal, delivered his acrobatic shot, which caromed slightly off the cross bar before nesting itself deep into the back of the goal.
It was the kind of play that few players even attempt. Even fewer can say, at least honestly, that they've done it successfully.
"I've never done that before in a match and I didn't think it went in at first," Watson said. "I've never tried one of those before in my life. I always see my friends try, but I never wanted to try it. I think there was a whole lot of luck on that one."
Watson even left his coach, Eric Willson, with his mouth agape.
"It was one of those moments that kind of wowed anybody that was watching it," Willson said. "Chris is a supper athletic kid, but I'm not sure if he could do that again if he tried that a couple more times, but we loved seeing it."
Willson especially loved seeing the North Stars (2-0-1, 1-0-0) beat Geneva for the first time since their 3-0 win in the 2011 Elk Grove regional title match.
"We've had some epic battles throughout my tenure with Geneva. This was just another one of those games," Willson said. "A really hard fought game and obviously for our guys to come up and make a play toward the end of the game, I'm certainly happy with that."
On the flip side, it was an extremely tough loss for Geneva (1-1-0, 0-1-0), which got its lone goal from Jason Lagger with 24:21 left in the first half.
"We talked before the game and at halftime that this game doesn't determine the rest of the season but shows where we're at right now and we clearly can't finish off a game," Vikings coach Ryan Estabrook said. "If we hope to be successful this year, we're going to have to make sure we can play a whole game of soccer because that was disheartening."