Boys soccer: Crystal Lake South wins FVC opener over Jacobs
Crystal Lake South could not do anything about the injury to forward Sam Bahlfleth's right leg that has kept him out of a few games.
Nor could the Gators do anything about missing their most dynamic player Tommy Coughlin, who had to miss Tuesday's game against Jacobs because of a red card in the previous game.
But South coach Brian Allen was thrilled about what his team could control in its Fox Valley Conference opener.
"If you work hard, you're going to be in every game," Allen said. "We can control attitude and effort and they brought both of those today. They were locked in on the bench, locked in on the field, and that gave us a good chance and we were able to squeak one out here."
Midfielders Deven Tinajero and Mikey Dejworek scored goals and goalkeeper Logan Vargas came up big twice in the second half as the Gators held off Jacobs, 2-1, in their FVC opener, ending the Golden Eagles' three-game winning streak.
"It was our first conference game, no one was scared to make the play," Tinajero said. "Everyone stood up. I was proud of everyone. No one's really played a big varsity game like this because of COVID. Everyone worked hard."
South (7-1-1, 1-0 FVC) scored first midway through the first half when Dejworek's shot deflected off Jacobs keeper Manny Gonzalez and Tinajero ran down the rebound to the right of the goal.
"It was a good angle," Tinajero said. "I was there. I was ready."
In the second half, midfielder Nolan Getzinger took a ball off a throw-in and made a move inside the goal box and was taken down from behind. Dejworek made the penalty kick for a 2-0 lead.
Jacobs (4-4, 0-1) scored a few minutes later when Nevin Volarath ripped a ball past Vargas, who had just made a save in traffic.
Vargas made a crucial save early in the second half when he charged toward midfielder Ruben Zarate, who had a step on a South defender, and slid to take the ball away. Vargas came up big late in the game when Jacobs' Carter Roper headed a ball toward the net and Vargas punched it over the crossbar.
"Logan stood on his head today," Allen said. "He made a couple big saves when we needed him to. He's a great athlete and shot-stopper. That should be good for his confidence and good for the whole team moving forward, seeing him make some of those saves."
Coughlin will be back in the lineup when South hosts Cary-Grove on Thursday. Allen hopes to get Bahnfleth back at some point but is uncertain on the timetable.
"It might be a little harder (without them), but we're one team and we work together to make everything possible," Dejworek said.
Jacobs coach Colin Brice felt his team picked up its play better in the second half.
"We have a lot of young guys on the team that haven't experienced South's intensity and direct play," Brice said. "Getting accustomed to that in the first half took us a little bit. In the second half, we created more chances, we just needed to finish our chances.
"We had six or seven corners (late in the game). That's something we'll learn in the next month or so and continue to grow on and be ready for other conference opponents and the playoffs."