Panthers edged by hosts in Warrior Invite championship
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By Curt Herron
Tough battles and near misses are are well and good but those types of results don't often bring about a lot of satisfaction.
Such has been the case for Waubonsie Valley throughout much of a frustrating 2010 season that is heading into its final stages.
But the Warriors' efforts were finally rewarded during its most recent stretch of play, the result being a championship trophy.
Waubonsie used a first-half goal to claim a 1-0 win over Oswego on Saturday in Aurora to claim top honors in its Warrior Invite.
Both squads entered with 1-0-1 records in the six-team tournament, thereby assuring the winner of capturing the championship.
The winner came just 10:07 into the match when Jesus Hernandez headed in a short attempt following a pass from Steven Turcios.
Coach Angelo DiBernardo's Warriors have now gone 3-0-1 since recording a 4-1 victory over St. Charles East last Saturday.
They followed that up with a 1-1 draw with Batavia on Tuesday before capturing a 3-0 victory over Metea Valley two days later.
Waubonsie (5-10-2) had dropped seven straight matches, with six of those by one goal, before starting its current streak.
The Warriors have been involved in 12 matches which were decided by one goal or less, and have gone 2-8-2 in those contests.
While the veteran coach still sees things that his squad can improve upon, he's obviously encouraged by their recent play.
And since they've demonstrated that the can hang with almost anyone, the Warriors figure to be a dangerous playoff opponent.
Click to hear coach Angelo DiBernardo interview
Oswego (7-8-2) also entered the championship match on a good note, having posted a 6-2-1 record in its last nine contests.
Both squads had good chances before Hernandez found the net in the early going for what proved to be the match's lone score.
Oswego's Adam Udy and Waubonsie's Tyler Yanisch exchanged early tries before Turcios sent a bouncer to keeper Luis Gallardo.
A short time later, Warrior Alex Brinlee sent in an attempt from the side which was cleared on a header by Collin Stransky.
Shortly before the goal, Panther Curtis Grysiewicz lined a shot over the net and Turcios had a try cleared by Kyle Kearby.
Not long after Waubonsie grabbed the lead, Oswego's Max Calderon sent in an an attempt that was headed away by Sean Piegore.
Warrior Timmy Miller followed with a free kick that was punched away by Gallardo before Nathan Kyes was denied on a long try.
Click to hear Timmy Miller interview
During the second part of the opening half, Gallardo stopped a liner from Vish Patel and then a long free kick from Piegore.
One of Oswego's best first-half chances came with 13:40 remaining but keeper Sean Elvert came up with a key pair of saves.
Ryan Totsch started things with a long shot that was deflected before Elvert made a kick save on a rebound try by Casey Kerby.
A few minutes later, the Warriors almost connected again after Gytis Savukynas sent a pass to Hernandez, who was just wide.
Oswego had a good chance in the final 15 seconds of the half but Calderon's header off a Stransky free kick went over the net.
Click to hear Vish Patel interview
There were fewer opportunities following the break as the hosts contented themselves by trying to run out the remaining time.
One of the first came when Brinlee sent a pass to Hernandez, who got off a grounder which forced Gallardo into a diving save.
Around the midpoint of the half, the hosts couldn't connect following a corner from Sam Bell and a throw in by Jason O'Brien.
Shortly after that, Patel was stopped on a header and Gallardo deflected a liner from Franckie Saiz over the top of the net.
Elvert, who recorded his other shutout in the season opener, made one of his final saves on a long free kick from Stransky.
With about 13 minutes left, the Panthers tried to shake things up by moving Gallardo up front and putting Totsch in the net.
But one of their few chances in the late going came about five minutes after the switch when Grysiewicz sent a liner wide.
Click to hear Jason O'Brien interview
Oswego now prepares itself for a busy week which begins with a conference championship showdown and ends with regional play.
The Panthers host Plainfield Central on Monday at 10 a.m. in a clash of unbeaten squads in the Southwest Prairie Conference.
Coach Travis Carlisle's team plays at Romeoville on Thursday before hosting Plainfield East on Saturday in regional action.
Click to hear coach Travis Carlisle interview