Boys soccer: Kolb, Schulz goals lift Benet over Carmel
An early goal from John Kolb, and another by Caden Schulz four minutes from time helped visiting Benet Academy claim a hard fought 2-0 victory over Carmel Catholic in an East Suburban Catholic Conference boys soccer contest at Baker Stadium in Mundelein Saturday.
The Kolb strike came out of nowhere after the Redwings fought off a quick start by the home side, with the senior finishing into the far inside net with a clinical touch after taking in the first of two brilliant helpers from teammate Nico Picha.
"We were on our heels in the first five minutes but what a great goal, and assist from John and Nico, to give us a real lift and turn around our play in that first half," said Redwings coach Sean Wesley, who was without four starters due to ACT testing.
"We had to move some guys around, and count on others to help fill in for the guys missing. It was nice to see them step in and give us some strong minutes, and show us what they can do in an important conference game."
One player Wesley was missing in the Redwings' loss to Plainfield East on Thursday was his all-state central defender candidate, Nick Roe, who once again showed why he should be considered for such an honor after the 2021 fall season.
The Benet sophomore reads the game like a ten-year veteran, possesses recovery speed to collect, and carry balls out of the area, is comfortable on the ball with both feet, and perhaps most important is cool, calm and composed, making he and Evan Frazier one top flight partnership.
"Defensively we're starting to come together, and the same can be said for our attack, and we're beginning to sort things out, and playing much better as a team," said Kolb.
From the opening whistle until the final moments, the tackling, lack of time and space, and box-to-box play was impressive, even as the temperature rose with each passing minute.
"Our energy today was amazing from start to finish. We didn't hang our heads after their early goal, and even when they basically closed us out with just a few minutes to play, the guys never stopped playing and for that I am very happy and proud," said Corsairs (2-3-1, 0-2-0) head coach, Ray Krawzak.
Krawzak's team, led by senior Ben LaMora's passion, desire and ferocity, bent, but did not break as the visitors used a strong wind at their backs in the first half to keep their hosts under pressure, while sending a handful of chances on frame.
After the intermission, it was the Corsairs' turn to use the wind to sent balls over the top to test, stretch, and probe the Redwings (5-3-0, 2-0-0), only to have Roe, Frazier and keeper Evan Lucas keep things under control.
Andy Nash nearly doubled the Redwings' advantage at the near post in the 51st minute, while Kyle Pulido's effort to equalize went just over the bar at 59 minutes.
The Corsairs were caught when pushing numbers late and it was the Redwings' counter that did them in once again with Picha sending Schulz through with a quick touch, and a quality finish by the senior at in the 76th minute.
"We managed the wind, and Carmel throwing a lot at us in the second really well to get ourselves a good conference victory," said Wesley, whose club is away on Wednesday at Marist.
"Two mistakes and they cost us today, but there's a lot of heart, desire, and talent on this team so if we put 80 good minutes together, we're going to win a lot of games before the season is over," Krawzak said.