Boys soccer: Peici's on target as Buffalo Grove handles Rolling Meadows
Two sensational goals by Jon Peici were enough to hold off a late charge by Rolling Meadows and help visiting Buffalo Grove to a 3-1 victory Thursday in Mid-Suburban League boys soccer.
The Bison (5-3-1, 3-0-0) drew an emphatic line in the sand in the first full week of league play, following a 6-0 result over Schaumburg earlier to help the Bison keep pace with division rival Hersey.
"It was all about coming out and playing with a lot of energy and confidence -- and not to accept defeat at any cost," said Peici, whose magnificent free-kick strike 90 seconds into the game helped get the Bison off and running.
"Our first half tonight was one of our best 40 minutes of the season thus far -- we did everything on both sides of the ball very well," said Buffalo Grove coach Darren Llewellyn. "However, we didn't sustain that level of play after the break, and we had to defend as hard as we could in the second half with Rolling Meadows throwing everything at us with speed, quick passes and a handful of quality chances."
The visitors doubled their advantage at 13 minutes, courtesy of a wonderful helper from Brian Perez that set Alexis Escobar free up the left side.
The sophomore looked sharp on his way into the box, finishing with composure and an accurate touch past keeper Matt Galvan.
"We weren't all together in agreement with the call that gave No. 20 (Peici) his free kick, but he hit a great ball to start a first half of soccer that was not one of our best," said Mustangs coach Brett Olson, whose team was coming off a 6-3 win over Conant on Tuesday. "But our response to that first half after the break was tremendous. We played with great energy, and possessed really well, while creating opportunities against a defense that was organized and tough to break apart. So if we can put 70-80 minutes together like we did in that second half, we're going to be able to compete with just about everyone."
The Mustangs (2-4-1, 1-2-0) relied on attackers Sammy Olague, Sergio Lucero Herrera and Adan Ramirez to get themselves going after the intermission. That trio, plus Erik Martens and Joao Sanchez, collectively gave their guests plenty to worry about.
After a pair of close calls from BG senior Kevin Eloiza, both of which could have extended the Bison advantage, the hosts dominated the run of play for the next 20-25 minutes.
A valiant block of a close-range blast by Shane Adams against Martens likely saved a goal in the 59th minute before Sanchez's 35-yard free kick forced a save by Raman Kudrautsau.
The best chances were yet to come, as Ramirez unloaded a wicked blast that hit the underside of the bar and spilled off the line, all of which led to Lucero Herrera grazing the bar with his return shot.
"We were a little unlucky during a 10-minute stretch before Sammy rebounded in his PK attempt, which was first saved," said Olson.
Peici cancelled out the 68th-minute goal from Olague with a remarkable goal which he somehow curled into the far inside netting from the near end line.
"That first goal from Jon really gave us a boost in a game that we really wanted, but we had to work hard in that second half to hold off a team that we knew had a lot of weapons in their attack," said Christian Kozaczka, forms a strong duet with Brian Hanus in the center of the BG backline.
Next up for the Bison will be Prospect next Tuesday, while the Mustangs have Deerfield on Saturday and reigning MSL champion Barrington on Tuesday.