Hawks score two late goals to rally past Sabres
By Kevin Chroust
For Bartlett, it was an encouraging come-from-behind win after not exactly thrilling itself with its level of play early.
And for Streamwood, it was another close loss that has it wondering if 2010 is just meant to be a hard-luck season.
The Hawks came from a goal down Thursday night at Millennium Field for a 2-1 nonconference win over the Sabres.
And though the score couldn't have been closer, it left both teams with completely opposing dispositions.
"It was nowhere near the prettiest game we're capable of, but we are happy with the win," Bartlett coach Ben Beary said.
"That said, I'm very proud of my guys. It's not easy coming back when you go down like that, especially in a very emotional game between these two teams."
"I'm tired of it," Streamwood defender Victor Aguilar said. "2-1 losses, 1-0 losses, ties, we just need to start putting the ball in the net."
For the Sabres (1-14-2), it was one through ball after another, and each seemed to end with the same result.
And that was a Sabres forward or midfielder pulling up after a whistle and looking over at the linesman's raised flag for an offside call.
Coach Matt Polovin lost track of how many times the flag went up.
"That was very frustrating," Polovin said. "We always tell them, before you take off running, take a little peak over your shoulder to see where that last defender's at.
They were getting a little too excited. They got caught way too many times."
But then his team, border-line desperate for offense in recent games, got the break they needed.
A penalty kick, one of the few situations in the attacking half of the field in which an offside call isn't going to happen.
Aguilar placed his penalty kick to the right of Bartlett goalkeeper Alex Busch with 25:02 left in the match.
But, as is often the case with penalty kicks, what goes around came around and Bartlett got its chance from the 12-yard mark.
Brett Dini drilled his penalty to the right to even the score with 12:28 left on the clock.
"After that PK we were let down and their momentum picked up," Aguilar said. "We let them take advantage of that."
From there, Bartlett (10-5-1) continued to send balls into the Streamwood penalty area, and with 1:31 remaining they spoiled the Sabres' day even more.
That's when Eric Kennebeck ran onto a bouncing ball in the box and touched it over Streamwood keeper Jose Resendiz.
"Usually good teams find ways to score goals, and that's what they did," Polovin said.
Beary was particularly pleased with the play of defender Chris Baumann. The senior anchored a back line lacking injured sweeper Joey Morgan.
"Chris Baumann is our player of the game," Beary said. "Last minute decision, Chris had to step in and play sweep, and he played his heart out back there.
"More than once he saved us on those breakaways. Huge game for him today."
Baumann said even though the Sabres haven't exactly been lighting up the scoresheet, they presented some tricky tactics up front.
"They were making a lot of diagonal runs across and our defense did a solid job of just staying with them and trying to pull them offsides whenever we had a chance," Baumann said.
While the Hawks reached double-digit wins for the season, 12 of the Sabres' 14 losses have now been one- or two-goal losses.
However, they hope relief is coming soon with the potential return of injured forward Ivan Arce to bolster the scoring attack.
"If Ivan comes back and if the team keeps playing the way they're playing, no one's going to take us lightly," Polovin said.