Christian Ortiz’s heroics help Oswego tie Naperville Central

SHARE Christian Ortiz’s heroics help Oswego tie Naperville Central

In danger of having a halftime lead turn into a loss, Oswego went into hyper attack mode for the last four minutes of regulation and it helped produce a 2-2 draw against visiting Naperville Central.

Making their home debut after two road losses, the Panthers averted a third straight loss (0-2-1) with 58 seconds to play when Christian Ortiz’s head-flick eluded Central keeper Mike Senese for the equalizer. The Redhawks, No. 6 in the Sun-Times preseason ratings, are now 1-0-1 for 2013 following consecutive state runner-up finishes.

“Being so late in the match I knew I had to make a play, so when Blake’s (Kearby) pass came my way, I just made sure to get my head on it,” Ortiz explained. “(The equalizer) felt great because we didn’t want to lose (a third straight match).”

Oswego opened the scoring at 19:02 when a Redhawk clearing attempt sailed high and led to J.C. Mora lining up a mid-air volley from 14 yards out.

“Seeing their keeper wasn’t too tall, I made up my mind to aim it high and I was able to hit into the upper left 90,” Mora recalled.

“That first goal was simply a fantastic shot by J.C.,” Oswego coach Travis Carlisle insisted.

Just 46 seconds into the second half, Central’s Ben Border was taken down from behind inside the penalty box and teammate Devon Amoo-Mensah parked the penalty kick inside the right post only to have the strike nullified under a 2013 rule change that states “a stutter step is not permitted, and the action must be continuous forward motion throughout the (pk) approach.”

The Redhawks were determined to even the tally and with 36 minutes still to play, as Nick Coon fed Drake Swope who was near the touch line for an eight-yarder from the left side.

“I saw that the left front post was open just enough and placed it well. Coach always wants us to push for a goal in the first 10 minutes to get momentum going our way,” Swope said.

An offside violation waived off a Sam Reskala netter with 27:33 remaining, and a diving deflection by Panther keeper Ortiz denied a David Murphy rocket. However, the visitors got the 2-1 lead when Derek Kerbs tapped in a six-yarder off a scramble in front of the Oswego goal.

“Their keeper bobbled the ball and it basically showed up at my feet, at first I didn’t know if it would go in because I didn’t get as much on it as I would have liked, but there was no one near enough to stop it,” Kerbs added.

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