Boys soccer: Oswego East doubles up Downers Grove South
Ben Burns told Oswego East soccer coach Steve Szymanski before the season that he was going to lead the team in scoring this fall.
He's off to a good start.
Burns has bagged a team-high five goals through the first four games, including a pair Saturday in the Wolves' 4-2 victory over visiting Downers Grove South. It was the second straight game the senior forward has scored twice.
Junior forward DuPablo Parodis-Yu added a goal and two assists and Carter Boberg also found the back of the net for Oswego East (4-0), which has already scored 11 goals.
"We knew going into the season that we'd rely on Ben and DuPablo a lot to get a lot of goals," Szymanski said. "DuPablo scored a ton of goals with the JV team and Ben was hurt all year, broke his leg, so played probably 80 minutes all year.
"They've been pacing us. DuPablo makes a lot of things happen out there."
Indeed, Parodis-Yu wreaked havoc on the left wing, breaking down Downers South's overwhelmed defense repeatedly. He assisted on both of Burns' goals, which came on similar plays.
"I like to take it down the line," Parodis-Yu said. "If I see I can get past them, I just try to drive it past them and I try to find that cross.
"When I'm crossing the ball, I just look up to see if anyone's there. Ben is always there."
The two hooked up twice in the second half. The first goal came with 34:10 remaining and gave the Wolves a 3-1 cushion.
Downers South (0-3) pulled within 3-2 when Giovanni Torrijos sent a ball over the top of the defense to Josh Venouziou, who finished the breakaway at the 22:55 mark.
But Burns knocked in another cross from Parodis-Yu with 11:34 left to regain the two-goal margin.
It's a connection that has worked well so far.
"I think it's perfect because we have a lot of wingers that can play that ball into me or any other forward," Burns said. "I really think it's hard for defenders to defend that, so as long as we keep doing that, we'll keep on scoring goals."
There is no mystery behind Oswego East's high-powered attack. The Wolves have 17 seniors who are determined to put the work in required to make this a potentially special season.
"In practice we've been doing shooting a lot," Burns said. "At the end of every single practice, we spend like 20-30 minutes just focusing on shooting and finishing the ball. It's been paying off."
It took less than a minute for it to pay off Saturday. Boberg gave the Wolves an early 1-0 lead when he volleyed home a long throw-in from defender John Danison.
Though Downers South's Dardan Sylejmani tied it 10 minutes later, the Mustangs had few chances and always seemed to be chasing the Wolves.
"Every time I thought we kind of clawed back into it, they'd get another one," Downers South coach Jon Stapleton said. "Defensively, (Parodis-Yu) on the wing killed us.
"We did not defend well one-on-one. Even double teams they were able to get out of them numerous times."