During our time as a member of the Mid-Suburban League, no other MSL team has beaten us more than Fremd. In our 42 year history we have an overall record of just 15 wins, 38 losses and 4 ties. As a result, we always go into this match knowing that we had better be fully focused and ready for a battle. This year, the boys walked onto the pitch at Fremd and were primed for the game right from the opening whistle!
Just 21 seconds into the game, after connecting a sequence of four passes in the Fremd end, Gio Guarnero launched a missile at the Fremd net. Their goalkeeper was able to make a save but left a rebound. Michael Blanke eagerly ran onto the ball and finished it. 1-0 Broncos!?! Nope. The far assistant referee raised his flag indicating that Michael was in an offsides position. * video footage after the match would show that Blake was easily onside and the goal should have been allowed.
The boys were not discouraged though, and within the next five minutes, some excellent passing and movement off of the ball would result in us grabbing the lead. Connor Delahunt, made a crashing run of his own and pounced on a rebound of his own, this time giving us the goal and the 1-0 lead. Another goal would come in the 10th minute when Michael Blanke would not be denied by the Fremd keeper who could not corral Blanke’s effort. Before the halfway mark of the first half, we would add a third goal, this time from an exceptional diving header from Klaus Pallan, courtesy of a magnificent serve from Enrico Ruffolo.
To start the second half, we came out firing again and thirteen minutes into the second half Ethan Lew padded the score with a ricocheting shot that rattled the crossbar, deflected off of a Fremd defender and into the goal. The score was 4-0 for our Broncos!
Things looked good for us. We were playing well and were in control. Fremd would not concede though, and our goalkeeper Brett Sprengel was called upon a few times, in order to preserve the shutout. Sprengel made three spectacular saves in the first 45 minutes, denying Fremd each time. A couple of the saves were of the kind that very few high school keepers can snare. His play was impressive!
Unfortunately, the Vikings were able to get on the board in the 54th minute when a blast into the top corner was out of his reach. Still, at 4-1 we felt like we were in control. With just under twenty minutes remaining, some of our players who haven’t featured as often were given an opportunity to play. Fremd picked up their play another step and made things quite interesting, scoring two more times in a two minute span. Rather rapidly, the game that we had held a firm grip on was in danger of coming undone. Our starting players were reinserted, including Sprengel (who was not in net for the second or third goal against) and we were able to preserve the win.
While the game was quite exciting (especially for Broncos in the beginning and then the Fremd fans in the second half), we certainly hope that in the future we will not allow an opponent to claw back into the match as Fremd did tonight. Kudos to the Vikings for their perseverance and tenacity, even when down four goals. Congratulations to our guys for beating a team we occasionally struggle with.
GO BRONCOS! YNWA!!
BHS – Connor Delahunt (UA) — 4th minute
BHS – Michael Blanke (UA) — 10th minute
BHS – Klaus Pallan (Enrico Ruffolo) — 20th minute
BHS – Ethan Lew (Omkar Prabhavalkar) — 53rd minute
FREMD — 54th minute
FREMD — 68th minute
FREMD — 69th minute