Boys soccer: Slawek's late goal lifts Crystal Lake South
Crystal Lake South defender Tomasz Slawek heeded the constructive criticism he had received in practice about making his runs on offensive corner kicks.
The 6-foot-3 senior was in the precise spot he needed to be after midfielder Deven Tinajero served his left-footed cross from the right corner.
Slawek headed it home with 19 minutes remaining and the Gators held off Dundee-Crown, 2-1, Thursday in their Fox Valley Conference boys soccer game.
"I've been yelled at in trainings because I haven't done my runs right, but today I made my run right and Dev put a great ball in," Slawek said. "It's amazing to get a goal, and as a game-winner it's even better."
Tinajero was looking right for Slawek, who has a rare four goals for his position.
"His run was really good and I had a perfect ball," Tinajero said. "He did his run exactly how it's supposed to be done."
South (10-2-1, 4-0 FVC) remained unbeaten in the league to keep pace with Huntley. D-C fell to 6-3-1, 2-2.
But the Chargers scored first and held tight defensively through the first 50 minutes.
"Our first half was fantastic and then the second half we were just a little bit flat," Chargers coach Rey Vargas said. "And you let that first goal in and it let them back in the game. We were defending pretty well, but we kind of got away from our game plan. That's the way it goes."
Jacob Budys scored in the 14th minute off Miguel Angel Pena's assist. Pena sent a ball into the box and Budys was able to tap it away from South goalkeeper Logan Vargas and knock it into the net.
"The first half was not pretty, no doubt about it," Gators coach Brian Allen said. "You have to give credit to D-C, they frustrated us and we definitely were flatter than I've seen us in a long time. It's a long season and that's inevitable and there's something to be said to hanging tough. We kept it to one."
Allen talked to his team at halftime about matching D-C's intensity better in the second half.
The Gators tied the score in the 53rd minute when they kept play alive in D-C's end and defender Dayton Murphy lofted a ball over keeper Konrad Kurnat that Tinajero headed in.
"That motivated us to keep grinding and win," Tinajero said. "That made us very excited. In the first half, we weren't playing our game. As soon as that happened, we were more hyped and excited."
South had only two shots on goal in the first half. Neither were tough saves for D-C keeper David Smiech, who left with an injury at halftime.
"We didn't look like we knew what we were doing," Slawek said. "It was a slow first half. We just had to change the energy, effort and attitude."
Allen thought a key was two perfectly placed balls by Murphy and Tinajero.
"A lot of it's about the services," Allen said. "The services have to be accurate and the guys have really locked in on their services and we've put more dangerous balls in."