Banged up and bruised, the Fenwick soccer team still managed to push its overall record to 6-3-1 and its Chicago Catholic League mark to 2-0-1 last week.
The Friars, who have been plagued by the injury bug for most of the season, shut out Loyola 3-0 and battled Mt. Carmel to a 0-0 tie in league action last week. The team entered this week with three conference games left, beginning with defending league champ St. Joseph last night (Sept. 27, after deadline). But head coach Robert Watson had more pressing issues with his team.
“Unfortunately, we are dealing with a large number of injuries,” he said. “But guys are playing several different positions, and the younger players are stepping up. We are starting to eliminate mental mistakes, and take advantage of our opportunities.”
The Friars have been without starting midfielder Francisco Moreno for the last two weeks due to a sprained ankle. Senior Austin Nelson has also been out due to an ankle sprain. Several other players have been nursing shoulder and knee injuries.
“The injuries are nothing too severe, just nagging. They don’t seem to be healing quickly enough,” said Watson. “But the good news is we are deep and getting a lot of the younger guys some experience.”
Fenwick’s three main scorers have stayed injury free for the most part. Justin Giacotto (6 goals), Jack Alberts (6 goals, 7 assists) and Mike Nowicki have been formidable offensive weapons for the Friars.
“These three have been linking up well together and producing,” said Watson. “We’ve managed to maintain a well-balanced attack and solid defense.”
Senior defenders Murphy Brennan, Johnny Tringl, Peter Noell, Jack Gallo and Adam Wozny are just a few players that have stepped up to keep the team afloat.
Goalkeeper Jacob Peterson earned the two shutouts last week, and Watson said he’s pleased with the junior’s progression this season.
“Jacob is starting to play smarter,” he said. “I was hoping varsity game experience would help him mature mentally, and he is improving each day.”
The Friars travel to cross-town rival Oak Park on Friday for a 6:30 p.m. game.
“The players are always up for the game against Oak Park, but we’re mainly focused on the league right now,” said Watson.