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High School Boys Soccer: Argo and Reavis draw in rivalry match at SeatGeek

By Steve Millar
Correspondent

Neither team got the chance to lift the trophy that was supposed go to the winner, but Argo and Reavis players left with some special memories from a game played last week at SeatGeek Stadium.

The Argonauts and Rams played to a 2-2 tie in a fun atmosphere in Bridgeview on Oct. 7.

“This means everything,” Argo coach Carlos Marquez said. “A lot of these kids live right down the street. They walk by here or drive by here on their way to school. When we presented this idea, they were all for it.

“We wanted to do it for our seniors, especially. This is something they’re never going to forget.”

The draw left the South Suburban Red championship in limbo, though it put Argo (9-3-4, 7-1-2) in command. The Argonauts would have clinched the title with a win, while Reavis (9-4-3, 6-0-4) could have taken over first place with a victory.

The tie left Argo in control of its own destiny, needing a win Oct. 12 against Oak Lawn to seal the championship.

“They put pressure on us, but at the end it was a good feeling because, in the end, we’re still on top in the conference,” Argo senior Mohamed Ahmed said. “Hopefully we’re going to beat Oak Lawn and win the conference.”

Ahmed opened the scoring in the ninth minute when he took a pass from Michal Gacek, sprinted down the left side of the field and ripped a shot from 15 yards inside the far post.

“It was the best feeling when we entered on the field and when I scored, that was the best feeling of my life,” Ahmed said. “I’ve never felt anything like that before. The fans were screaming and it was so exciting.”

Ahmed then set up Gerard Kleczewski for a goal in the 17th minute to extend the Argo lead to 2-0.

“We’ve been struggling on the attack these last two weeks,” Marquez said. “We felt like we lost games we shouldn’t have lost, so we’ve been working on the attack and our play in the final third.

“We knew playing on this big field that there were going to be big spaces and if we could combine and find those passing lanes, we’d be able to create some opportunities to score. We did a good job of doing that early in the game.”

Reavis battled back. After Argo was called for a handball in the box, Pedro Guzman converted the ensuing penalty kick to make it 2-1 in the 24th minute.

Then freshman Krystian Paluch tied it with 33:08 left in the match.

On a corner kick, Emanuel Montero’s cross found Guzman in the middle of the box. Guzman sent a header toward the goal and Paluch was able to redirect it into the back of the net.

It was the second goal of the season for Paluch, a defender.

“It’s the best feeling,” Paluch said. “It’s fun to make a good defensive play, but scoring goals, you can’t explain that feeling, especially doing it in this environment.

“Professionals play on this field. It’s pretty much a dream come true. It’s crazy when you think about it.”

The Rams continued to put pressure on the rest of the way, but could not find another goal to take the lead.

“In the first 15 or 20 minutes, we were nervous,” Paluch said. “We had butterflies in our stomach. In the last 20 minutes, we were dominating. I think we should have won. We should have put one more in the back of the net.”

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