Boys Soccer: Bryan Dillberg emerges as go-to guy at Lincoln-Way East
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media October 2, 2013 9:08PM
Lincoln-Way East's Bryan Dillberg (7) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Stagg. | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 4, 2013 12:24PM
Bryan Dillberg has come up big in the biggest moments for Lincoln-Way East all season.
When the Griffins needed a late rally against Plainfield South in the semifinals of the Lincoln-Way Invitational, the senior forward was there. He scored the game-tying goal with 13 minutes left in the match and added the game-winner minutes later.
“That was the highlight of the season so far,” Dillberg said. “Getting those goals in the last few minutes was pretty cool.”
So were the two goals he scored Sept. 26 when the Griffins knocked off Stagg in a highly anticipated battle.
“Bryan came up huge for us (against Stagg),” East coach Ryan Decker said. “He’s been doing it for us all season.”
Dillberg has become one of the go-to guys this season after the Griffins lost a strong senior class that helped them to the SouthWest Suburban Blue championship and a regional title in 2012.
“It’s awesome being one of the key guys,” Dillberg said. “Last year, I played a lot but not in a pivotal role. This year I have a lot bigger role and I’m having fun. I don’t look at is as pressure on me at all. I’m just having fun and enjoying it.”
Dillberg shares the team lead with eight goals in 12 matches and also has dished out four assists.
“I’d like to get to maybe 15 goals by the end of the season,” he said.
Dillberg, who said his speed and his ability to use both feet are his best attributes on the field, has been playing soccer for 10 years and appreciates the international appeal of the sport.
“I love that people play it all over the world,” he said. “Soccer is a language that everyone around the world speaks, and that’s really cool.”
Dillberg hopes his career will continue beyond high school.
“I definitely want to keep playing,” he said. “I’m still looking at colleges and I’m getting some interest. I haven’t committed anywhere or anything yet, but I definitely want to play in college.”
In the meantime, he’ll look to lead the Griffins to a strong stretch run. It begins Thursday with a game the Griffins have been eagerly awaiting. Lincoln-Way Central, which ended East’s season with a sectional semifinal upset last year, pays a visit to East.
“Oh, man, that was such a tough loss last year,” Dillberg said. “We’ve really been looking forward to playing them.”
Dillberg sees room for late-season improvement for himself and his team.
“I feel like we’ve done well, but we really haven’t reached our full potential,” he said. “We need to work on our defending as a whole team.
“We really want to win conference for the second straight year, then see what we can do in the playoffs.”