Boys Soccer: Plainfield South nips Plainfield Central
By Tommy Stokke For Sun-Times Media September 3, 2012 9:10PM
Plainfield Central's Nick Belom (4) fights for the ball Monday. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 5, 2012 6:10AM
Plainfield South goalkeeper Tyler Olsen played perhaps his best game of the season, but a little help from the left post sealed a 2-1 victory Monday for the Cougars over district rival Plainfield Central.
With just over eight minutes left, Olsen rose up to punch out a corner kick, just as he did numerous times throughout the day.
This time, however, the ball deflected off his closed fist straight into the air and out of the goalkeeper’s sight. It came down in front of a collection of Wildcats, but an attempt at the net ricocheted off the left post and out of harm’s way for Olsen.
“It was crazy,” said Olsen, who finished with 15 saves. “I lost it in the air. I thought it was for sure going in. I didn’t see it until it was too late, but fortunately, they missed it.”
Each coach was hoping the ball would land his team’s way.
“I can’t say some of the things that were going through my head when I saw the empty net,” said South coach Dave Brown, whose team improved to 6-1. “I was just hoping that Tyler saw something that I didn’t and could make a play.”
“The only thing I was thinking was, ‘That needs to go in,’ ” Central coach Kevin Fitzgerald said.
The South offense saw scoring chances come few and far between, but took advantage of each of its first two shots. The first was courtesy of Cesar Bautista, who put it in from 15 yards out off the inside post with 30:09 remaining in the first half.
Central wasted little time answering. Off a free kick, Mohamed Rashid found Dan Rosenbaum for a goal with 23:57 remaining.
Olsen then stopped three more scoring opportunities for Central. South’s second shot of the game came with 3:20 left in the first half, with Manny Sanchez finding the top right corner of the net from 17 yards out.
“Any time these two teams meet the intensity rises on its own,” Brown said. “Anything can happen, and it’s about taking advantage of mistakes. I don’t know that Central made a specific mistake, but we scored on our first two shots and that gave us encouragement.”
Olsen stopped on a shot on a breakaway by Miguel Sanchez with 31 minutes remaining.
“South played well, but we need to play better, smarter and harder,” Fitzgerald said. “There’s really nothing specific I can say. It’s a long list of things we need to work on.
“(The loss) doesn’t feel good right now, but I’m more concerned with how the guys in white (Central) feel,” he added. “I know they’re disappointed right now, but I’m not so sure how upset they really are.”
For the Cougars, a win against Central for a second consecutive year could propel them to a run at the Southwest Prairie Conference crown.
“Not a lot of people gave us a chance this year and a lot of people have Central winning conference,” Brown said. “This gives us the confidence to compete with anyone.”