Chaps start fast in win over Kankakee

Carlos Peterson, Sports Editor

The Chaparrals took the field this Saturday against the Kankakee men’s soccer team and started the game off with excellent pace. Belgoni Basunda and Librado Olivares jump-started the offensive attack with excellent balls up the pitch to spring teammates for quality attacks on goal. The philosophy from the start was evident. The Chaps attached at will until the Kankakee defense broke. While the aggressive style led to two early corners from Krzis Czapka, the offense seemingly could not break through. The Kankakee keeper did an excellent job of keeping the Chaps from scoring. COD Head Coach Jim Kelly was conflicted about the output of his team’s attack.

“We do a good job of making chances, just don’t do a very good job of taking them,” Kelly said of his team.

While the attack of the Chaps struggled to put the ball in the back of the net, it was evident the Kankakee defense was wearing down. Midway through the first half, the first goal was scored by Librado Olivares and created on a beautiful break by Saul Hernandez putting the Chaps up 1-0 early in the contest.

The DuPage defenders did an excellent job of applying pressure to the Kankakee wings and pressuring them into bad shots. The Chaps, however, struggled in set pieces and were not clearing the ball from danger when faced with attackers in the box.

“We made a few mistakes today, in the box. We need to learn to clear the ball from danger. When there’s any danger we need to kick it clear.” Kelly said of his team’s defensive effort.

The Chaps would follow up some strong rushes from Kankakee attackers with a dazzling goal from Saul Hernandez. He weaved past the retreating defenders for a powerful strike into the net to put the Chaps up by two going into the half.

The Kankakee attack came out aggressive to open the second half, taking every opportunity they could to get the ball in the box. While the attempts made by KCC were fruitless, the DuPage defense started to wear down. COD’s Etabo Emena punched in a nice goal on a volley of the goalkeeper, but the team showed sloppy play down the stretch. Coach Kelly expects more from his team in the second half.

“We didn’t do much of anything well in the second half,” Kelly said. “In the first half we pressed them and counterattacked well. So what we did well in the first half didn’t translate to the second half.”

The game turned physical over the final 30 minutes. Olivares and Kankakee’s Michael Bierdon got into a bit of a physical exchange at midfield when battling for the ball. The exchange ultimately diffused into a verbal altercation broken up by the officials and teammates. Despite the physical play, DuPage controlled most of the game with their ball movement and aggressive plays on the ball. The Chaparrals would come out on top 3-0 over Kankakee.