Libertyville scores four goals in 10 minutes to swamp Oswego

SHARE Libertyville scores four goals in 10 minutes to swamp Oswego

Libertyville played like gangbusters in every facet of the game Saturday except the most important. Despite dominating possession time and the controlling the field of play, the Wildcats watched Oswego snatch the lead in the 27th minute.

Ssophomore midfielder Mitch Kearby played a beautiful ball from senior defender Rodolfo Moreno for the game’s first goal. The score elated the Panthers. It also caught the Wildcats’ attention.

No. 12 Libertyville responded with a lethal burst of four goals in a 10-minute stretch that better reflected the team’s superior play in the 4-1 victory in a first round PepsiCo Showdown game at Lyons in LaGrange.

Libertyville advances to a second-round matchup with No. 15 Streamwood.

“We were dominating but we weren’t playing good soccer,” veteran Libertyville coach Andy Bitta said. “We weren’t using our outside backs who were wide open. As soon as we used them, one scored a goal and the other had the assist and we blew the game wide open.”

Libertyville (6-0) struck with a devastating counterpunch that floored the Panthers (1-4-1). In the 32nd minute, defender Tuker Goebeler smashed in a header from a beautiful corner of sophomore defender Michael Quigley.

“We came into the game a little lackadaisical, and from there we just picked up the urgency,” Goebeler said. “We picked up the first goal and it just woke us up.”

It was only the start as Libertyville quickly parlayed the momentum into two goals late in the first half for the dominant 3-1 lead at the break. Defender Paul McKeon then scored his first goal of the year in the 37th minute.

“We started out the game strong, but then they scored first and we kind of went into a shell,” McKeon said. “Tucker’s goal got us going, and from there, you saw how we play, everything is done for each other and nothing is individualistic.”

The most aesthetically impressive goal happened in the 40th minute. Junior midfielder Kyle Robson worked the ball down the left edge and lofted an arcing service that senior midfielder Liam O’Connell ran into without interruption for the finish in front of the Panthers’ goalline.

A close game with the possibility of an upset turned decisively in the favor of the Wildcats.

“We’re a young team, and we made young mistakes there,” Oswego coach Brian Falli said. “We lost our [defensive] markers on a couple of players, and they’re a good team, and they made us pay for it.”

Ryan Pacholski punctuated the onslaught at the start of the second half by finishing a feed from senior midfielder Sam Kratzer. Three of the Wildcats goals were scored by their backline, vindicating the coach’s point of emphasis.

“They were pinching the ball in the middle and you have to play the ball wide. As soon as we started getting the ball wide with our center backs, we looked fantastic,” Bitta said.

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