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Soccer preview: Young Lemont team looking for leadership

Lemont junior midfielder Teodor Trifunovski cuts with the ball during practice at the Lemont Sports Complex on Wednesday.
Matthew Piechalak –
Lemont junior midfielder Teodor Trifunovski cuts with the ball during practice at the Lemont Sports Complex on Wednesday. Matthew Piechalak –

LEMONT – In the early stages of the 2013 campaign, the Lemont boys soccer team has certainly shows glimpses of stardom.

But whether the Indians can play that way on a consistent basis will ultimately decide their fate this fall.

“We are still really young and we are still looking for some leadership,” said coach Rick Prangen. “We have four seniors starting and everybody else is either a junior or sophomore. With being young, that brings inconsistency. There are moments of really good and other moments where we are making bad, bad mistakes.

“So for us, it’s can we keep progressing and can we play a full 80 minutes. We haven’t done that yet this year.”

Lemont improved to 2-3-2 on the young season after Monday’s 5-0 victory over Evergreen Park, which kicked off South Suburban Conference play. Roy Delatore, who leads the team with five goals, found the back of the net twice while Kieran Ruane, Clint McCallister and John Bermele also scored.

Over the weekend, the Indians hosted their own tournament and ended up tying East Aurora 2-2 in the third-place match. Earlier in the event, the squad notched a 3-1 victory over Lincoln-Way West.

Lemont’s losses came in the first three matches of the year to Sandburg, St. Ignatius and Lockport, the latter two coming by a goal.

“Our losses this year have all come to 3A teams,” Prangen said. “All were quality opponents and we weren’t blown out in any of them. A couple of them were 50-50 games and those come down to the little things. But they were great practice for the playoffs.”

The South Suburban Conference is expected to be challenging once again. The Indians lost just two matches in league play a year ago but finished as the runner-up to Bremen.

“We’ve got a tough road,” Prangen said. “We have to go to Bremen, we have to go to Eisenhower and the TF-coop team (TF United) is having a good year. And we lost to Reavis last year, which was one of our two conference losses.”

To reach their high goals, Prangen would like to see improvement in two areas.

“First off, finishing our chances,” he said. “And then closing out games when we are up. Against East Aurora, we were up 2-0. I think it comes down to a level of mental toughness. You have to be mentally strong to close games out and we are looking for that.”

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