152 W. Biesterfield Road,
Elk Grove Village
Phone 847.956.1818
Fax 847.956.4848

Coach: Kurt Trenkle
Jack Cooney Sr., GK
Daniel Marshall So., D
Ian Lenke Jr., D/M
Bryan Velazquez Jr., F/M
Jacob Schroeder Sr., D/M
Steven Pineda Sr., F
Jose Favela Sr., F
Erick Karkut Sr., D/M
Jake Cavaiani Jr., F/M
Alex Whiteman Jr., D/F
Chris Garcia Sr., F
Zack Surico Sr., M
Sean O'Carroll Sr., F/M
Chris Cooney So., F
Miguel Cruz Jr., D/M
Dominic Taldone Jr., M
Robert Malej Sr., D
Shane Duffy Sr., D

Knights can't hold onto early lead in loss to Lions


By Mike Garofola

A three-goal second half explosion denied host Prospect of its first victory of the season as visiting Saint Viator earned a hard-fought 3-1 victory Saturday afternoon in Mt. Prospect.

It looked like an early goal from Dominic Taldone might stand up with the Lions (2-0-0) having a difficult time finishing chances, while the home side was playing enough stout defense in its end to help keep the ESCC power from getting into the back of the net.

But despite the strong defensive work, Kurt Trenkle's lads were unable to hold off their opponent.

"I was really pleased with our defense shape and work in that first half, and with our ability to the 50-50's and keep Spencer (Moore) under control during (that) time," said Trenkle, who is now in his eighth year as Knight manager.

"But I am not sure if was the fact that this was our third game in (5) days, or a few nagging injuries (or what) but are work rate and energy wasn't the same in the second half, and that likely caught up with us."

"I thought are energy and play was really good in that first half," agreed junior Ian Lenke, whom Trenkle moved around in the midfield and earned high praise afterward from his coach.

"We just didn't create a whole lot of offense in the second half, and ended up defending more than we wanted to, but there's a lot of new players on the team this season, so it's going to take us awhile to figure out, and get things right."

Lenke would mention Spencer Moore as did his manager as a key figure in the Lions attack, and why not.

Mike Taylor will lean heavily on his returning all-state forward, who is set for a magnificent final season at the Arlington Heights school, and along with teammate Nick Winter, the club has a potential powderkeg ready to explode at a moments notice.

"Nick scored (10) for us last year, but is capable of so many more if he gives us a great work rate up (top) and works together with Spencer - and 'Spence' has the ability to dominate our opponents and games if he just goes out (there) and let's the game come to him, and enjoys the game in which he's so good at," said Taylor after the match.

The Lions were chasing a one-goal advantage by the Knights (0-2-1) when at two minutes, Dominic Taldone's low drive from 20 yards went through a crowd and past keeper Tom Martin, who, along with Aaron Tres will do their best to replace Michael McGrath, an all-conference keeper last season, who has moved onto college.

The home side looked much sharper than their opponent in the early exchanges, and their ability to win 50-50 balls, tackle, and put some high pressure in the Lions own end appeared to spell more trouble for the club.

"I didn't think we were very good in that first half," admitted senior Ethan Wolf, who is the heir apparant to Troy Wheeler (now at Loras College) as the backline leader after spending last season alongside the two-time all-ESCC three-year veteran.

"That was a (bad) and easy first goal that we gave up, and we although we created a few chances, we really didn't play as well as we should in the first 40 minutes. (But) we talked and figured some things out at the half, and came back to play much better soccer, score those three goals and got ourselves the win."

Just before the quarter hour, the Lions began to get themselves back into the game, all started on a nicely-played counter which saw Winter nearly catch-up to a lovely ball provided by Moore from the left side.

Minutes later, Kevin McMahon, Wolf and Moore all had a touch before Ryan Henry collected the final pass and carried towards the back post, where the Knights backline closed down the oncharging senior who had hoped to have a go at keeper Jack Cooney.

The Knight keeper was a busy man for most of the day, particularly on many of the well-aimed long throws from Wolf.

On three seperate throws, Cooney was forced into a save situation with his best coming at 25 minutes, when the Knights allowed Wolfs' throw to fall near the spot and just before intermission, when the lanky senior leaned as far back as he could to punch the ball up and over the woodwork.

"We were more dangerous than (Prospect) for most of the day, but we weren't as sharp (and) have to be in that final third," offered Taylor.

After Bryan Velazquez watched his short-range drive tipped up and over the bar by Martin, some good work on the ball from Mateo Leudo from his spot in the center of the park led to a brief spell where the Lions owned the run of play, until a Velazquez corner nearly resulted in an own goal in the 37th minute.

"I was really happy with our overall play in that first half, and our ability to keep (Moore) from having too much space and time on the ball, but in that second half, it was (like) we were just protecting the lead, and not playing to do much of anything else but defend and we really do that as well as we could either," said Knights captain, Zack Surico, who is just one of a few returning players from a team which went 9-9-3 last fall.

The home side opened brightly enough after the break as the skies cleared and the heat and humidity made an appearance.

Velazquez put the ball onto the foot of Sean O'Carroll at the back post but the varsity newcomer was unable to put the ball on frame, and on Tres, whom Taylor installed between the sticks for the second period.

Cooney came off his line quickly to take away a chance after Kevin Klinkenberg put Leudo in with a ball over the top, and later, Winter's drive was hauled in after Alex Whiteman got a piece of the hard smash.

But the Lions were beginning to get a little more space and time and that would soon prove costly for the Knights as the match neared the hour mark.

"We just weren't holding onto the ball enough and it seemed like the ball was in our end most of the time because of it, and we might have worn down a little bit," said Trenkle.

The Knights were unable to properly clear another long throw in its end, resulting for an opportunistic Javier Romero to drive home the equalizer at 67 minutes.

Saint Viator had further opportunities after the Romero strike, the best coming from Zach Gyuricza from Klinkenberg, but the junior wouldn't miss on his second chance when he headed past Cooney a wonderful helper from Miles McDonnell to give the visitors the lead for good at 75 minutes.

"Once we started to click in our midfield, we were able to create some pressure and chances in that second half to keep the ball in their end for most of that time," said Taylor.

"I'm proud of the boys from coming back from that early goal to (then) score three in the second half, while limiting (Prospect) to just one or two chances the rest of the way."

An own goal in the closing moments put the dagger in the heart of the Knights boisterous faithful, and ending a winless first week for them as well.

"We played (2) different halves of soccer today, but with a lot of new guys on the varsity, we might have to go through that a few times until we play 80 minutes of the way we (can) and should in order to compete," added Surico.

Surico and his mates open play in the MSL on Tuesday at Wheeling, while the Lions have a busy week ahead of themselves, beginning with their annual nonconference match with Palatine on Wednesday before going on the road Friday to meet nationally-ranked Marquette University High in Milwaukee.

Then the club will turn around and head to Peoria Notre Dame for a match on Saturday against one of the best in Class 2A.


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