After a tough loss to Joliet West on Thursday, September 5th, the East boys’ varsity soccer team took on Oswego that following Tuesday the 10th, losing 4-1 and continuing the Wolves’ losing streak.
The Wolves were 1-3 going into the crosstown match with their rivals standing at 2-3-1. With it being crosstown, a level of intensity was needed by the players and coaches more than any other game. As it turned out the intensity was not brought by the Wolves.
Despite the loss, senior midfielder Sahil Sethi had the only goal for the Wolves. Even though he was excited that he scored, he knew that they needed another goal.
“I feel that the game wasn’t an accurate representation of the team we are. We have played much better and we just didn’t start off the game with the right energy,” Sethi said.
The Wolves played tough but went down early in the first half. Oswego had a solid hit from outside the penalty box into the back of the net in the 35’ minute. There was nothing that could have been done to save it.
“I believe that after getting scored on, as a team, everyone needs to focus and keep our energy up. But unfortunately, that didn’t happen this game since we conceded another goal within minutes of the first,” Sethi said.
After the first goal, the Wolves started off strong but the ball went out for a corner off one of the East defenders. With a perfectly placed ball from the Panthers midfielder to a forwards head, the ball was in the back of the Wolves net again in the 34’ minute.
“Recovering after getting scored on is a hard one, basically just brush it off and help keep your teammates in place, give them hope, and tell them everything is going to be ok,” sophomore defender Chris Godinez said.
East kept the pressure high after almost scoring two goals. However, the Panthers kept the same high intensity. Junior goalie Owen Kiilsgaard had to save the Wolves by making some outstanding plays which kept the Wolves in the game.
“After I make a diving save, I’m usually focusing on what’s next, whether that’s distributing or dealing with a corner,” Kiilsgaard said.
The East backline including Godinez and sophomore defender Cael Cummings frustrated the Panthers’ forwards and finished out the second half with the score at 2-0. Cummings was determined to keep his teammates from thinking the game was out of reach.
“When you’re losing you gotta talk to your teammates and keep them in the game. If they’re in the game you’re in the game,” Cummings said.
After half, the Wolves came out on fire. They scored a quick goal by Sethi off a free kick in the 35th minute. Sethi crushed the ball into the back of the net putting the Wolves back into the game.
“You can sit there and feel sorry for yourself or you can go out and play harder and they did just that. I give credit to them to coming out and playing a lot harder in the second half. We were able to get a nice goal,” Head Coach Stephen Szymanski said.
As the Wolves stepped up, so did the Panthers. They scored goals in the 18th and 8th minute of the second half. If it weren’t for Kiilsgaard, the score would have been worse. In the 19th minute he had a diving catch ripping away a goal from an Oswego forward.
“I try to communicate more when we are losing and be more motivational,” Kiilsgaard said.
In the past two games that East has played they’ve had to come back from being behind by two goals. They managed to come back and tie it up against Joliet West but ended up still losing that game because they eased up a bit after scoring.
“I think this was very similar to our game against Oswego as well,” Sethi said.
The season isn’t over yet. The Wolves are looking to improve from their last couple of losses, and it starts in practice on what needs to be fixed before the next game.
“I believe our team just needs to regroup and realize the mistakes we made today, and work towards fixing them in practice. I think that we just need to move on and focus especially on connecting passes, our communication, and switching the field,” Sethi said.
The Wolves’ next game is a conference game to be played this evening at home against Plainfield South. The game begins at 4:30 p.m.
Alex McPhee is a sports writer for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl