Halir keeps Elmwood Park net clean in win over Von Steuben
Elmwood Park, 10/18/12--Elmwood Park's keeper Peter Halir jumps high to bat a ball away as teammate Konrad Kawula watches over his shoulder. Elmwood Park High School hosted Von Steuben High School in an IHSA Class 2A Boys' Soccer Regional Tournament game Thursday afternoon. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 23, 2012 12:04AM
ELMWOOD PARK — In the playoffs, it doesn’t matter how pretty you win as long as you get the job done.
That could not be any truer for the Tigers, who despite a very poor offensive performance, held on to defeat Von Steuben 4-2 in penalty kicks after a 0-0 tie in Elmwood Park on Thursday.
Junior goalkeeper Peter Halir was the hero for the Tigers in the 2A regional semifinal as he made two impressive saves in the penalty shootout. The first required Halir to dive completely outstretched to his right to swat the ball out of the air with his left hand. The second save was a powerful shot hit right at him that forced Halir to react quickly and use his right hand to deflect the ball over the crossbar.
“I knew I had to step up with the game on the line,” said Halir. “It was up to me and I knew I had to put the team on my back.”
Aleks Grabowski, Kevin Rama, Konrad Kawula and Kamil Trestka each converted on their kicks to seal the win for the Tigers (6-8-3).
“I’ve been practicing penalty kicks a lot lately,” said Trestka, who kicked fourth for Elmwood Park. “I felt a wave of relaxation wash over me like water before the kick and I knew I would make it.”
The Tigers can consider themselves fortunate to walk away with the win considering how Von Steuben dominated the game. The Panthers controlled most of the possession and it appeared Elmwood Park was playing in a defensive shell with only Kris Chalupczak coming forward.
The Tigers could only muster three shots on goal the entire game while Von Steuben compiled 27 shots. The Panthers also had eight corner kicks to the Tigers’ two.
The Tigers will host Payton Friday for the regional final.
Pick up your local Pioneer Press newspaper on Oct. 25 to read more about the Elmwood Park soccer team.