Oak Park-River Forest coach Paul Wright viewed his team’s match with
top-ranked Hinsdale Central as a measuring stick. The Huskies posted
three consecutive shutouts and team confidence was high, but the Red Devils are playing at another level.
Hinsdale Central opened the game with a flurry of pressure and then broke the match wide open with three goals during a second-half blitz to run past
the host Huskies 4-0 in a West Suburban Silver showdown Tuesday in Oak Park.
The final score was misleading as the Huskies played even with the Red Devils for 40 minutes after conceding a goal off a rebound inside the near post to sophomore midfielder Bryan Loebig, his fourth of the year, in the opening five minutes.
“Coach [Michael] Wiggins always stresses you have to get that goal early and
it builds the momentum,” Loebig said. “That’s been one of our good
assets the whole year, we get that ball from [junior defender] Evan
[Floersch], it’s a dangerous weapon, and we’re very good in the air and
“Mostly I was in the right place at the right time,” Loebig said.
The Huskies’ physical style frustrated the Red Devils for the next 50
minutes. Oak Park-River Forest (6-5-4, 1-3) created some opportunities of its own, including a header by sophomore midfielder Evan Kindler that was just wide of the post.
“If we get that goal, and make it 1-1, it’s a completely different match and feel to it,” Wright said. “They have four really big kids on the backline, and they are just very difficult to score on.”
Hinsdale Central has now outscored its last four opponents 12-1. But while the offense has been grabbing headlines, the defense has been suffocating.
Hinsdale Central (14-0-2, 5-0) registered its eighth shutout of the year. The only goal allowed in the last four games was on a penalty kick against
New Trier on Friday.
“We don’t allow many shots on goal,” star senior forward Christian Meyer
said. “Going against our defense every day is going to make our offense
better. This is my third year on the varsity, and this is one of the
best defensive teams I’ve been on.”
Wiggins also credited the maturity of junior keeper Wes Bergevin.
“You see his confidence growing in the back,” Wiggins said. “It’s really good to see him come along. Our guys in the back have stood tall and strong and they
fill their roles and responsibilities very well.”
Hinsdale Central finally solved the Huskies’ defense in the final 20
minutes. Meyer scored his team-leading 11th goal of the year in the 58th
“They did a good job frustrating us defensively,” Meyer said. “We got that second goal and that settled us down.”
Senior forward Alex Knight turned the match into a rout by scoring two goals. Senior forward Brandon Kim added two assists.