Grayslake Central's boys soccer team finally did what few others have done in recent years.
The visiting Rams handed Round Lake its first Northern Lake County loss since the conference began play last year. The Panthers hadn't lost a conference or a division game for a few years.
Grayslake Central needed 80 minutes of regulation time and two overtimes before prevailing 5-4 in penalty kicks to capture a 2-1 decision in its NLCC opener.
Rams keeper Greg Madjarov made the biggest of his 16 stops in the PKs, and Seb Hinestrosa knocked in the final kick. Hinestrosa also assisted on Owen Aaberg's goal in regulation.
"We had to dig deep," said Grayslake Central coach Tom Hamilton, whose team improved to 2-1-2. "We knew it would be tough at their place. We had some people step up big. We had a couple of big injuries coming into this game and a couple of starters absent. We talked before the game and said we're not going to make excuses because we've got a deep roster. I thought our defense played spectacularly. Everybody fed off that energy."
Madjarov kept the Rams in the match. He dived to his right to make a stop in the fourth round of kicks.
"It was pretty good game," Madjarov said. "My defense really stepped up to help, There was a lot of pressure in the penalty kicks. It was a nervous feeling, but I felt confident about them. I knew I could get to them.
"On the one I saved (in the PKs), I knew from the stance (the shooter) was trying to make it obvious to go to my left. At the last second, he kind of shifted. I moved a little bit to my left side and just dove to my right and I got it."
Grayslake Central's defense consisted off Jack Spalding, Clay Stoffel, Daniel Orozco, Jeff Quiroz and Kevn Obrien. The Rams opened the scoring in the 24th minute, when Aaberg found the back of the net off an assist from Hinestrosa.
Round Lake (7-2-1, 1-1) kept attacking but couldn't solve Madjarov until the 70th minute. Antonio Fonseca scored after taking a pass from Marqiis Hayward.
"In the first half, we dominated but just couldn't finish," Round Lake coach Hugo Tellez said. "It's unfortunate. The score doesn't tell the whole game. We came back but couldn't get another one. The last time we lost (a conference game), we went on a streak. Hopefully, we can finish off our conference."