Boys soccer: Fremd blanks Hersey in 45th MSL Soccer Cup

  • Fremd's Sandro Javakhishvili moves the ball downfield past Hersey's Jack Farell in the first period at Fremd in the MSL Soccer Cup on Thursday.

    Fremd's Sandro Javakhishvili moves the ball downfield past Hersey's Jack Farell in the first period at Fremd in the MSL Soccer Cup on Thursday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Hersey's Andrew Hamilton takes control of the ball as Fremd's Caden Statz defends in the first period at Fremd in the MSL Soccer Cup on Thursday.

    Hersey's Andrew Hamilton takes control of the ball as Fremd's Caden Statz defends in the first period at Fremd in the MSL Soccer Cup on Thursday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Fremd's Caden Statz moves the ball against Hersey's Jack Farell at Fremd in the MSL Soccer Cup on Thursday.

    Fremd's Caden Statz moves the ball against Hersey's Jack Farell at Fremd in the MSL Soccer Cup on Thursday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Fremd's Eli Schoffstall moves with precision as Hersey's Simon Hemenway defends in the first period at Fremd in the MSL Soccer Cup on Thursday.

    Fremd's Eli Schoffstall moves with precision as Hersey's Simon Hemenway defends in the first period at Fremd in the MSL Soccer Cup on Thursday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Fremd's Eli Schoffstall kicks the ball away from Alex Masztek as they move downfield at Fremd in the MSL Soccer Cup on Thursday.

    Fremd's Eli Schoffstall kicks the ball away from Alex Masztek as they move downfield at Fremd in the MSL Soccer Cup on Thursday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
By Mike Garofola
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/14/2021 10:19 PM

Ryan Sapiente delivered a scintillating solo goal, as did teammate Leo Akashi to help inspire Mid-Suburban West champion Fremd to a 3-0 victory over Hersey Thursday night at the 45th annual MSL Soccer Cup.

With the victory, the Vikings claimed their league-best ninth MSL title, one more than crosstown rival Palatine.

 

"I am very happy for the boys -- they finally broke things open after that sensational goal from Sap (Sapiente). But credit Hersey for the energy they brought in the first half, and great heart and desire which kept us on our heels for nearly 60 minutes before we woke up and played the way we know we can," said Fremd coach Steve Keller.

"I couldn't be more proud of the way we fought against a team that has so much talent, and plays fast, and is very physical. We gave them a real good game for an hour but could not overcome their three great goals," said Hersey coach Mike Rusniak, whose team will host Prospect on Tuesday in its regional opener.

The Huskies' (9-7-1) show of defensive defiance slowed the Vikings' (15-2-1) attack to a crawl as they kept play in front of them with gritty tackling, first and second ball success and constant pressure from box-to-box.

"That was our plan all along, and I thought we did a very good job of it all throughout the first half, and after the break but their first goal, which was amazing, really took a lot out of us," admitted Hersey senior Andrew Hamilton, who was part of a back four that included Matt Carlson, Alex Masztek and Charlie Schiffman, who stayed organized, and focused at the task at hand.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The eventual game-winner from Sapiente came when the Vikings' senior roared up the left side, thought for a moment of playing the ball to Dimitri Vlahos, before unloading an unstoppable 35-yard left-footed missile than nestled into the far inside corner.

"Dimitri was calling for the ball but I decided to just have a go with my shot," said Sapiente of his 51st minute blast.

The Huskies, as they have all season long, did not hang their heads despite having now to chase the game. But in the 70th minute, it became clear it would be more difficult to overtake a now rampant opponent.

That's when Akashi curled in his brilliant corner into the upper right corner from just outside the box.

"Two great goals for us, and the game all of sudden was in control," offered Fremd's Caden Statz.

The home side would score against the run of play with Joey Rodino getting things started along the right and Akashi having his shot crash off the back post to an ever-alert Statz, who buried his close range effort to increase the Vikings' advantage sixty seconds later.

"I couldn't ask for much more from my guys than what they gave tonight and I told them if they play like this on Tuesday against Prospect, we'll have an excellent chance to win and advance," said Rusniak.

The new MSL champions, the top seed in their own sectional, will open the postseason against the winner of the Wheeling-Highland Park play-in game in the game preceding Hersey-Prospect on Tuesday.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.