JJC Wolves soccer team put up an aggressive battle with Harper College to conclude with a 1-1 draw in double overtime.
On Sept. 6, the Wolves were visited by the Hawks who were trying to redeem themselves after a loss with DuPage and ready to compete.
In the first couple of minutes of the game the Hawks started out very aggressive. It gave the Wolves a difficult time to breathe and recollect whenever a player received the ball.
However, the Wolves aren’t known to break down when push comes to shove. When faced with such a task, the coaching staff knew a change needed to be made to adapt to such style of play.
JJC’s soccer head coach, Cris Trillo, who is entering his 16th season, had this to say: “I told them they have to move the ball faster. They can’t do three, four, five touches. They have to get the ball away from the defender and just find a teammate. Space themselves out.”
At the 24th minute of the game, freshman Leonardo Haro made a stunning header into the right side of the goal after teammate Christian Galvan crossed the ball from about 20 yards from the goal due to a free kick opportunity.
This gave the team a 1-0 lead.
“I closed my eyes because I saw the goalkeeper coming at me, so I was kind of scared. But, I mean you have to go for it and it feels amazing after you score. I mean, when you look at the goal and you see the ball inside. You go ‘ay I scored,’” Haro said with a large grin on his face.
The Wolves were able to set the tone for the rest of the game as the players became a lot more aggressive and more noticeably confident than before. They began to pass the ball out to the goalie to reset positions and take control of the match, taking Coach Trillo’s advice.
Harper College was able to get in a lucky goal at the 41st minute going into the half with some steam, resulting with the score 1-1 at the half.
The second half was a different story.
The Wolves came out aggressive with excellent defense and strategic passing of the ball, controlling the game more and consistently penetrating the goal.
They put up a fight Harper was not prepared for.
“When Coach put me back in the game as left back I saw more of the space and what I had to do.” Said sophomore team captain Jorge Navas, “It really helped me get back into my game.”
The game was a continuous battle as no team was able to get another goal. As it became a game of stamina and heart, this gave the wolves the advantage.
With no team giving each other any breathing room, this clash of warriors became a game of pure adrenaline, which ended up concluding regulation time and into overtime.
In overtime, the Wolves put it in overdrive, keeping the ball in their possessing for most of the double overtime as a fatigued Harper College tried to keep up.
With a total of four shots taken in the first half and eight in the second in overtime, it’s obvious the Wolves wanted to take home the W and would not be satisfied with anything less.
Navas said, “I think if we risk it and try to score and beat them without worrying about getting scored on is what gave us the push to try and keep going. As you can see in overtime we controlled the ball a little bit more. We took care of the game a little bit more. Unfortunately we weren’t able to put the game away but the energy was still there and I think this is a good note for us.”
With excellent guidance from coach Trillo and a fighting mentality, the Wolves style of play is a thing of beauty.
Overtime concluded with neither team able to score one more and the players all shook hands and congratulated players on a good game, displaying true class and sportsmanship.
The game ended with a draw 1-1.