Boys soccer: Round Lake dumps Lakes to stay unbeaten in NLCC
Being on its new home turf this season, Round Lake's boys soccer team has been able to learn how to play and be a front-runner in the Northern Lake County Conference.
The Panthers, behind the efforts of senior forward Bruce Ruiz, who scored a pair of goals, beat visiting Lakes 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Ruiz (8 goals, 4 assists) has been something to watch with what he can do with the ball and getting others involved in the attack for Round Lake (7-2-1, 5-0).
"Just want to pass the ball to my teammates and communicate with them," Ruiz said. "We just do a good job playing together. We had a big win against one of the best teams in the conference."
Ruiz opened the scoring in the 17th minute for the Panthers with a slick touch move around Lakes keeper James Leone (10 saves) and placed the ball into the back of the net.
Ruiz followed with his second goal in the 43rd minute, when he chipped the ball under the crossbar off a Edgar Arteaga assist.
"He's our speed up top and our fast guy," Round Lake coach Josue Jimenez said of Ruiz. "I'm trying to get him out of his comfort zone to be a better striker. He's stepped up more in that position. Goals are coming off his speed and beating the guys up top to finish."
Lakes (7-2, 5-1) got a goal back about a minute later off a free kick as Bartoz Jakubiak scored near the back post off an assist from Cyrus Daruwala.
Panthers' keeper Gerardo Perez made 13 saves.
"Give Round Lake credit with the two goals and their keeper coming up with the saves," Lakes coach Kevin Kullby said. "We just weren't able to finish on our chances with the free kicks or set pieces."
The NLCC race now is set up with Round Lake unbeaten with games left hosting North Chicago Thursday and at Grayslake Central (6-2, 4-1) on April 15. The Rams also play at Grayslake North this Thursday. Lakes will need a Grayslake victory over Round Lake for a three-way tie, while the Eagles have a meeting with North Chicago next week.