If you can remain unflappable in the face of pressure, you can win your share of soccer games.
withstood a game-tying goal from St. Ignatius in the second half of their soccer game on Tuesday, held off the Wolfpack’s pressure from there, and got a game-winning goal from Tommy Gasienica in a 2-1 win in Chicago.
“Any time you can come in here and play with these guys on this (artificial) surface, that’s a good day,” coach Rick Prangen said. “I thought we hung pretty tough, in a place that’s pretty tough to come in and get a result.”
Senior Kyle Koehler liked what he saw from his Indians as well.
“We settled down after (St. Ignatius) got that tying goal. We knew we had time to come back,” Koehler said. “We just had to settle down and get back in our game. We’ve been in those situations before.”
It was Koehler who opened the game’s scoring, rising to meet a Nick Tiedt free kick in the St. Ignatius penalty area and beating charging Wolfpack keeper Zak Allen to the ball.
Koehler headed a shot over a leaping Allen’s outstretched arms from 12 yards, giving (2-0) a 1-0 lead just two minutes before halftime. “I heard (Allen) coming,” Koehler said. “I thought maybe I had a chance and it worked out.”
Gasienica’s game-winner was born on a long punt from Lemont keeper Andrew Putna, who replaced injured starting keeper Piotr Okon in the second half. Gasienica flicked Putna’s long kick on, then followed the ball to the far post to clean it up into net, in the game’s 65th minute.
The Indians went into Tuesday’s contest on the heels of a 6-0 win over Evergreen Park on Monday.
“We were pretty ragged today. We lacked energy and we just didn’t play very well,” Prangen said. “That being said, to gut it out and get a win showed pretty good character.”
“I like our team chemistry this year,” Koehler said. “We all like playing together and it’s just fun playing together.”
St. Ignatius (0-1) tested that chemistry with an attack that managed to keep the ball on ’s half of midfield for a good part of the game, but the Indians refused to give up decent looks on net.
“We gave them from midfield to the 18, but that was about it. I thought it was some pretty good defending on our part,” Prangen said. “Nick Tiedt, our holding midfielder, has been playing really well for us. He’s been really consistent. And I think Mike Walus, Kyle Koehler, Connor Cunningham, and Kyle Hamann have been playing really, really well so far.”
“We’ve got a veteran team this year so I would expect us to gut out a game like this,” Prangen said.