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updated: 9/12/2017 10:04 PM

Boys soccer: More progress for Rolling Meadows in victory over Schaumburg

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By Mike Garofola
Daily Herald Correspondent

It was 3 more points for Rolling Meadows' boys soccer team, which continued its upward climb Tuesday following a 1-win season just a year ago.

Sammy Olague's second-half scoring double helped the Mustangs fight off a valiant comeback effort from visiting Schaumburg in a 3-2 victory at Robert Hoese Field.

"Schaumburg did a very good job of making us play their game instead of ours, and in fact, they took it to us for the last 15-20 minutes of the first half," said first-year Rolling Meadows coach Brett Olson. "Thankfully, we got back even with them just before the break, which helped us get a good start in the second half."

Meanwhile, the nice beginning was a step in the right direction for Schaumburg.

"We got a much better start tonight, something we've struggled to do of late," said Saxons coach Eric Sorby. "And we really did have a lot of the play leading up to, and after we scored the first goal. It's too bad we conceded that late goal because it took away the momentum we had built."

Olson pointed out how few seniors were in both starting lineups. That lack of varsity experience showed at times, as play became too frantic and direct.

"We like to play the ball on the floor, not in the air, and Schaumburg forced us to play that way for almost the entire first half," said Olague.

It sure looked like at least a potential victory for the Saxons (1-5-1, 1-4-1), who slowly began to enjoy the run of play thanks in part to its back line, which allowed just a few balls past them. And the Saxons midfielders were winning most of the 50-50 battles to help frustrate Rolling Meadows' attack.

When the Mustangs (4-4-1, 3-1-0) were unable to clear the area, Nick Marino nearly made them pay when he sent Edwin Zuniga through -- but his shot found only the post.

Jacob Piro got close minutes later, as did Dean Fay when he got a foot on a looping serve from Marino, only to have Matt Galvan make the save.

But the Mustangs keeper could not stop Marino at the half-hour when he teed up an attempt after collecting a well-aimed free kick from Eric Pawlikowski.

Sergio Lucero Herrera pulled the Marino goal back in the 38th minute when he elevated high above several Saxons to thump his header under the bar after meeting an Olague corner.

Inside five minutes of the second half, Olague curled an inward swinging corner just inside the back post to give the Mustangs the lead for good.

"Two set piece goals -- that's not good," Sorby said afterward.

Olague made the margin 3-1 after some extraordinary passing. The sequence was initiated by Erik Martens near the midline; he found Lucero Herrera in full stride, and he split the defense before finding Olague with a perfect assist.

"Martens made that goal happen with a great pass, so did Lucero Herrera, and in the second half, guys like Ricky Sanchez-Serrano really stepped up to give us terrific minutes when we needed it," said Olson.

The Saxons never went away, drawing a goal closer in the 80th minute with Samuel Bogner striking. But time ran out before any more heroics from the visitors.

The Mustangs host Vernon Hills at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in nonconference play, while Schaumburg next welcomes MSL West rival Palatine on Thursday evening.

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