Boys soccer: Schoffstall's goal puts Fremd past Palatine in 2 OTs
Fremd's Jake Schoffstall knows that his mental toughness with a game on the line will come through most of the time.
Take Tuesday night at Palatine's Chic Anderson Field against the host Pirates in a Mid-Suburban West boys soccer match.
Schoffstall missed a penalty kick with 15 minutes left in regulation. A diving stab by Palatine goalie Johnathon Moreno saved the day.
That did not discourage the three-year varsity senior.
With 8:28 left on the clock in the second overtime, Schoffstall delivered the winner giving the Vikings a 2-1 victory in the annual Celtic Cup contest between the two schools in front of a large crowd that numbered about 500. This is the fourth year in a row that Fremd has won the trophy.
The win also assured the Vikings a place in the MSL Soccer Bowl next week against the winner of Thursday's East Division showdown between Buffalo Grove and Wheeling.
"I saw the goalie cheat over," said Schoffstall. "I put my head down and hit it well to the left. It takes a lot of practice to be able to make the shot."
"Jake made that shot because he concentrated," said Fremd coach Steve Keller, whose team is now 9-1-4 overall and 8-0-2 in the MSL. "Although he missed the penalty kick he came back and put in the winner. He's mentally strong."
Schoffstall scored on a header with 25:32 left in the first half.
"I headed the ball toward the goal," said Schoffstall. "The ball hit the crossbar and then hit the goalie (Johnathon Moreno) and went in."
The Pirates came back to tie the game 1-1 when senior forward Hugo Tierrablanca fired in an open shot with 13:53 left in the first half.
"We wanted the ball to go to the center and then it came back out to me," said Tierrablanca. "I hit the shot. We played one of the best teams around. If we can learn from this game we can only go up as a team."
Both teams played well defensively with the Pirates playing tough around the goal and the Vikings limiting Palatine's chances near the goal.
"I thought our midfielders did a real nice job tonight, " said Palatine coach Willie Filian. "The last couple of weeks our defense has played really well. I am very proud of the way they played. Schoffstall is so strong and a monster in the box. I think we did a nice job in trying to limit his opportunities. He missed on the penalty kick but then he came back on the free kick and just buried it."
Keller was happy with the win but not so happy with his team's performance.
"They outhustled us, outnodded us, outjumped us, and they got a lot of the 50-50 balls," said Keller. "They just took it to us. We were vulnerable today. Hopefully the guys recognize that they have to come to play every day. We didn't play our best but we did come away with the win."
Fremd made 11 shots on goal and goalie Artur Cholewa made 3 saves. Moreno had 4 saves for the Pirates, who also had 10 shot attempts.