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Inside Boys Soccer: Central's Gries earns weekly honor

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 12:12 a.m. CDT

Athlete of the Week

Liam Gries

Marian Central, jr., forward

Gries helped the Hurricanes pick up their first win of the season against Richmond-Burton in the Wauconda Tournament, scoring two goals and assisting another in a 7-0 victory. The junior forward also added a goal and an assist in Marian’s 4-0 win against North Chicago on Saturday as the Hurricanes took third at the Wauconda Tournament.

Noteworthy

Coaching milestone: Woodstock coach Mike Golda didn’t need any reminders about his approaching milestone thanks to his players.

The Blue Streaks’ 2-0 win on Aug. 31 was the 100th win of Golda’s nine-year coaching career, four of which have been spent with Woodstock. Golda previously coached at Marian Central.

“To me it was big as far as the kids rally around,” Golda said of his career milestone. “They were aware of it. They were cognizant of it. They were the ones more excited than I was.”

The Blue Streaks (1-4-1) have endured some tough early-season losses, but a young team is gaining valuable experience including nine freshmen who played in the weekend tournament. They’re also working out their goalkeeper situation which currently features Chris Nelson and Sammy Guardado. Defensively Golda believes Woodstock needs to improve defensively especially with the communication among the backline defense.

“We’re having trouble finding those key factors in those moments and taking over the momentum of the game,” Golda said. “ … We’re going to go through growing pains but the big picture we can see late this year and into next season. I think we’re only going to get better and better.”

Huntley on a roll: Given how the Red Raiders have played to start the season, it appears right now the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division title will go through Huntley.

The Red Raiders didn’t drop a game in their first six contests of the season en route to a 5-0-1 record to begin the year. While Huntley’s defense has stepped up when needed, it’s been the offense – led by senior Niko Mihalopoulos – that has been tough to slow down.

With Mihalopoulos spearheading a dangerous attack that also features senior forward Scott Dorvilier and freshman midfielder Jack Bessey, the Red Raiders are building momentum with conference play beginning in approximately two weeks.

This week’s top games

Huntley at Hampshire, 6:30 p.m. Thursday

The Whip-Purs get a crack at shutting down one of the area’s best teams in this FVC crossover meeting.

Cary-Grove at Crystal Lake Central, 4:30 p.m. Thursday

In this FVC nonconference battle, the Tigers have an opportunity to take down last year’s reigning FVC Valley champs and back up their belief that they’re contenders in the Fox Division this season.

Marengo at Woodstock, 10 a.m. Saturday

Both teams have struggled at times to close out games and this should be a great offensive battle. The Indians boast do-it-all senior Miguel Cortez while the Blue Streaks feature sophomore Julio Arias who has scored seven of Woodstock’s nine goals this season.

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