LA GRANGE – For a tough early season test, the Lyons Township boys soccer team showed well against one of the top programs in the state.
The Lions, which have also proven to be an elite team and return 15 players from a squad that went 18-4-1 last year, played level with Naperville North on Thursday in a 2-2 tie.
The Huskies opened the scoring in the 12th minute when LT goalkeeper Peter Nolan (4 saves) couldn’t corral a corner kick and the Huskies pounced.
LT (1-0-1) equalized 13 minutes later via a Cristian Sanchez goal. Junior midfielder Harry Hilling’s through ball put Sanchez on a breakaway that he would not miss.
Matt Murphy gave the Lions the lead in the 54th minute by finishing a scrum in front of goal following a long throw in by Frankie Kocimski.
“It’s something we work on every day,” Kocimski said of the long throws. “People ask me how I do it. It just comes natural.”
The Huskies equalized with 16 minutes left on a rebound.
“I never like to give up a goal when you’re winning to get tied,” said LT coach Paul Labbato. “That doesn’t feel very good for the team, but that team (Naperville North) is going to be a good team."
While the Lions had more of the possession, North had plenty of chances. In the second half the Huskies hit the post and had a shot cleared off the line by Lions' defender Pearman Clarke.
“It was a good early season match," Labbato said. "We schedule these games to try and figure out things as we move forward into the Pepsi Showdown and the playoffs. I’m happy to get out of here 2-2 because at points they could have won that game and certainly at points we could have won it.”