For tonight’s game, we traveled to Conant High School in Hoffman Estates, for the season’s first MSL West Division match. Our boys knew that nothing would come easy, with it being so early in the conference schedule, every team is still playing for their dreams and hopes of earning a spot in the MSL title game come the middle of October.
Our Broncos came out of the gate a little less sharp than what we have come to expect, based on their excellent play the last few games. While we were not poor, we definitely were not as sharp or energetic as we have been lately. After we settled in, we did create a few terrific moments; during the first half hour, Niko Argyros perhaps enjoyed the best chance for us to score when a CJ Steib change of play from the opposite side of midfield, put him in alone with the Cougar goalkeeper. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Steib also enjoyed a high quality chance himself during the first half, knifing forward from the right flank, squeaking past a couple of CHS defenders, and all the way into the box, where his attempt on goal would be saved by the facial region of the goalkeeper who had no time to react to the point blank effort.
The boys didn’t get down however, especially not Jo Cidulka, who had a stellar first half, winning aerial duels, distributing well from the back end. In the 35th minute, Cidulka stepped into the midfield (maybe 10 yards onto the opposing half), won a loose ball, took two touches forward and guided a beautiful shot past the diving attempt of the Conant goalkeeper. He was 35 yards away, but he didn’t mind. He simply said “I got this boys!”
The goal gave us the 1-0 lead and also a sense that we were now in control of the match. As all teams do though, we knew we needed a second goal. That would come in the 39th minute, from the long throw in of Cidulka, managing to bounce twice inside the Conant goal area, before Niko Argyros would again find himself in position to score. This time Argyros would not be denied, and he provided us with the insurance goal we desperately wanted.
At halftime, Alex Hausser came on to replace Nate Horn, who played as well as ever despite having seven stitches with him from Saturday’s championship game of our tournament. Still, with the 2-0 lead Coach Steib felt it wise to get Big Nate off, and allow Alex to do the job. Hector Rodriguez also entered at halftime, replacing Aidan Lew who had flet a slight twinge in his leg during the first half. (don’t fret, after a little rest and a stretch, Lew would be fine, and was even able to get back into the game later on.)
Our boys held down play during the second 40 minutes, and while our play was a little frantic, we did keep Conant away from any chances, outside of one long serve that found the head of a Cougar forward but went off target.
Coach Steib did use all 19 players for the first time this season, getting some rest for the legs of the boys, with the hopes that the extra freshness will benefit the guys tomorrow night when we play MSL East foe Elk Grove, at home at 6:30pm. We hope to see you there!
GO BRONCOS! YNWA!
BHS – Jo Cidulka (UA) 35th minute
BHS – Niko Argyros (Jo Cidulka) 39th minute
Fouls: BHS 10, CHS 8
Corner Kicks: BHS 3, CHS 3
Offsides: BHS 1, CHS 1
BRONCOS “MAN OF THE MATCH”