Oswego East takes regional final from Metea Valley
Surrounded by his teammates and many of his classmates, Oswego East senior Kellen Klosterman was experiencing something that he had only dreamed of doing Friday night.
It proved to be even better than he could've imagined.
The Wolves won the Class 3A Batavia regional championship, defeating Metea Valley 5-1. It's the first regional championship in school history.
"It feels better, much better," Klosterman said. "It was awesome. I didn't even see (the fans) until I looked at the bench and saw people running over and it was just amazing. That was crazy. It was just an amazing thing. I've never experienced anything like that. It was just awesome."
Oswego East (17-4-1) refuses to lose.
The Wolves advance to the Plainfield North sectional where they will face Naperville Central at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
"These guys don't want to lose so it's going to take a lot to beat them," Wolves coach Steve Szymanski said. "I'm happy for them. I've had to coach 15 years (to get one regional title). We just never finished it before. It's awesome to see them finish and finishing it like this is pretty cool."
When Ben Burns hammered home Kyle Smiley's cross midway through the first half it was done with authority and beauty, giving the Wolves a 1-0 lead.
"When he wants it he just goes and gets it," Szymanski said. "He's tough."
The goal was the culmination of the Wolves doing a lot of good things to create chances while limiting threats from the Mustangs.
"We really moved the ball well," Szymanski said. "We trusted each other. We made the extra pass. We didn't hold the ball very long. We weathered their storm. They came out hard as heck the first 15 minutes, which is never easy."
Metea Valley (11-8-2) saw the game suddenly get away from it a bit after surrendering two goals in a span of 63 seconds within the final three minutes of the half.
"We didn't react well," Mustangs coach Josh Robinson said. "Our guys battled. We just didn't compete enough in the first half and that made it difficult at the end of the day against a great team that was organized as heck and played a good game."
Klosterman simply tapped in a pass from Burns with 3:09 left in the half while Klosterman assisted Grant Glorioso then with 2:06 remaining to quickly make it 3-0.
"The energy felt great with that ball coming off of my foot," Glorioso said. "The morale was way up and I felt we had all the momentum at that point and carried it on to the second half."
Colin Bastianoni scored just 1:33 into the second half, firing up the Mustangs for a potential rally. They'd later have a chance to pull within one but missed a PK and 32 seconds later Glorioso scored the other way as suddenly the Wolves had extended their lead to 4-1 with just 7:47 left.
"It feels amazing to make history for our school and for ourselves," Glorioso said. "This is a goal we've set for each other and we've held our team to this standard since our freshman year. We've all been together. This has been our dream."
Matt Watson finished the scoring with 2:46 remaining.
"It got a little scary when they scored the first one, but then we got the fourth and the fifth," Klosterman said. "Then I knew we had it locked."