Despite sustained pressure, Fremd hands Wheeling first loss of season

By Alex Gleyzer, staff reporter

The Wildcats came into Tuesday night’s game looking to remain undefeated, but Fremd had other ideas. The Wildcats suffered their first loss of the 2013 season by a score of 1-0 in favor of the Vikings. The lone goal came with just 30 seconds left in the game. The Wildcats were in the middle of an offensive rush when a Vikings defender cleared the ball. The ball landed in front of a Viking forward and between Alfredo Rocha and Nate Laude, seniors. The Wildcats rushed to regain the ball back while another Viking forward joined the play. With a well-executed pass, the second Fremd attacker was able to get into an open spot and shoot the ball past goalie Javier Ocampo, junior, and score the game winning goal.

Although Fremd pulled out the victory, the biggest story was the missed opportunities from the Wildcats. Wheeling and Fremd had much back and forth action in the first half. Fremd utilized their height advantage on clearing out all Wildcat corner quicks, while the Cats relied on their speed to create scoring chances.

The Wildcats were able to regroup to contain the Vikings in the second half by controlling the majority of the ball possession. With quicker passes and keeping the ball on the ground, the Wildcat forwards were able to start offensive rushes. Unfortunately, these rushes ended with nothing to show.

“We feel disappointed, we fought hard but we just couldn’t finish. We have to view this as a learning experience and fuel to fight back,”  Luis Herrera, senior, said.

Along with Herrera, Juan Hernandez, senior, agreed that the Cats need to finish chances and continue to practice hard.

“This is not the end of the season. We need to practice even harder, go back to playing our game and focus on our next match,” Hernandez said.

Kevin Lennon, assistant coach, agreed with his players that they played hard, but had trouble finishing. “It wasn’t about our effort, we just needed to finish plays, and finish them (Fremd) earlier. The players learned that they can’t let teams hang around.”

Lennon also focused on the Cat’s next game and that nothing is final just yet.

“We still control our own destiny in the conference and state. Hersey is a big game for us because it will be the first time the players will have to respond to adversity. We need to keep our confidence up and use this loss as motivation to beat Hersey and remain competitive during the season,” Lennon said.

The Wildcats still remain atop the conference standings with a 12-1-2 record. The team will have back-to-back games to end the week by going to Hersey to face the Huskies on Thursday, and returning back home on Friday to take on Rolling Meadows.