Boys soccer: Nash's goal lifts Benet over Oswego
Sometimes it's better to be in a rush.
Recognizing a potential scoring opportunity in a scoreless game, T.J. McVey and Andy Nash called an audible. It paid off handsomely as the duo connected for the lone goal early in the second half and Benet edged Oswego, 1-0, in Thursday's Best of the West tournament game in Naperville.
"Normally we take our time and have outside backs take the throw-ins, but (McVey) saw an opportunity and I saw an opportunity and I made a run," Nash said. "He made a fantastic throw-in and I was just trying to get one on frame. We had so many shots in the first half and the start of the second half and just needed to get one on target."
Oswego (0-4) was able to hold its own against the Redwings, but was victimized with the game-changing play with 31:59 remaining. Taking McVey's feed, Nash lined his shot from a narrow angle just inside the far post with 31:59 remaining.
"I think we played really well against them," Panthers coach Gaspar Arias said. "I felt we were controlling the first half, but then they came out in the second half and were able to surprise us with that throw-in. We weren't really paying attention and that was a great shot from them and the goalie (Logan Wade) tried, but it was a great goal."
Benet (3-1-1) was able to keep its poise after nearly 50 minutes of scoreless soccer and push aside its missed opportunities.
"We just had to stay persistent," Nash said. "It's a huge shout out to our defending line. They always play amazing. They're always solid and they work their hardest so we've always got to win 50/50s and keep working on and off the ball."
Defensively, the Redwings were stingy, handling all of Oswego's chances and keeping the Panthers scoreless through four games.
"We didn't know anything about them besides a little bit from the other day of watching them so we just had to adapt in the first 10 minutes," Benet senior defender Jared Plummer said. "I think we adapted well and figured out their weaknesses and attacked them. I think that's what led to our victory."
Nash, who played a reserve role last year, has proved to be a nice weapon in Benet's arsenal already this fall.
"Now he's trying to get his spot and keep his spot," Redwings coach Sean Wesley said. "He's a big body and plays like a basketball player. He can post people up, he's got great feet and he's athletic. We'll need him to be good if we even have a chance on Saturday against (Naperville) North."
The Panthers may still be pursuing their first victory, but the young team had reason to be pleased with how well they battled.
"I think going into this tournament we knew it was going to be a challenge for us, especially because we are young," Arias said. "Basically we're playing with a JV team from last year because we only have four varsity players returning. So it's tough, but I think we're getting there. I think we're going to be OK, but it's going to take a bit."
The Panthers aren't sulking either.
"I don't think they're putting their heads down," Arias said. "You can tell they're getting excited because they're getting better. I think every game we're playing better than we did the first game and I think we are going to be able to connect better and end the season well."