Boys soccer wins regional championship, knocks off No. 1 New Trier

The boys varsity soccer team has continued their excellence late into the season, finishing the regular season with a 15-3 record and winning the regional championship.

After beginning the season 8-2, OPRF faced off against Fenwick on Saturday, Sept. 25. Held at Fenwick’s Priory campus in River Forest, the game was crowded with students from both schools. “The fans are a couple feet off the sidelines,” said OPRF head coach Jason Fried. “It’s always a tight game with a lot of emotions.”

In the first half, sophomore Easton Bogard scored on a pass from senior Josh Dennis and then celebrated with the OPRF students at one of the field’s corners. “A lot of our fans came out,” said senior Caleb Robinson. “It was so hype when all the fans were right there after Easton’s goal.” After a scoreless second half, the OPRF fans stormed the field, celebrating with their 9-2 Huskies.

The following Tuesday, the Huskies hosted the Downers Grove North Trojans at home. Despite the Trojans having a losing record, they led 2-0 at half. “We’ve always been known as a second half team. At half time, Fried always gives us pep talks and gets in our faces about how we need to comeback,” said Robinson.

The team rallied during the second half, rattling off three straight goals to close out the game 3-2.

One loss that the team wished they had back was against Glenbard West, where they lost in a 4-3 thriller. The Hilltoppers scored three goals in the first five minutes of the game, and things were looking bleak for the Huskies.

“We did look a little sluggish in our warm up and not as focused as we needed to be, and it was at Glenbard West, it was their senior night. They just handed it to us in the first five minutes,” said Fried.

“We went in thinking that it was going to be an easy win, but they truly dominated. They were the stronger team and they played very well. We just didn’t come in with the right mindset, and we weren’t in the right headspace before the game,” said Robinson.

After the loss to Glenbard West, OPRF finished the regular season on a three-game win streak, highlighted by a comeback once down 2-0 against Oswego.

“This team is definitely never out of it, they can rattle off four goals at any moment the way they play,” said Fried.

In their first regional game, OPRF beat Maine West 5-1, with four different players scoring. On the other side of the bracket, Niles West beat their favored rival Niles North to set up the regional championship game.

As fans were still filing into their seats, junior Colin Hayes scored his third goal in two games to put the Huskies up 1-0. Emotions were running high, and each team received multiple yellow cards, one of which resulted in an ejection of a Niles West player.

Late in the second half, junior Charlie Maguire scored to make the game 2-0, and OPRF hung on to win. “We controlled the first two regional games pretty well by keeping possession and limiting our opponents’ chances,” said sophomore forward Easton Bogard. “Being regional champs feels great because our hard work paid off, but our job is not done yet.”

Another highlight from the season is senior Alex Hauck’s selection to the all-sectional team and Bogard’s selection to the all-state team. “Individually I feel proud of getting all-state honors, but more importantly I’m proud of how strong our team has been,” said Bogard.

“All-sectional honorable mention means a lot to me. It’s very nice to receive recognition from other coaches. I know the all-sectional players from other schools are very talented so I’m quite pleased to be seen as similar quality,” said Hauck.

On Oct. 26, the Huskies faced off against New Trier, the No. 1 team in the state. After a scoreless first half, Bogard scored to break the tie, and the Huskies hung on to win 1-0. Despite the game being at New Trier, OPRF fans showed out, rushing the field after the victory.

Updates on the soccer team’s remaining games will be on and @oprftrapeze on Instagram.