Regional final puts bow on Tigers’ season
Elmwood Park, 10/18/12--Elmwood Park's Matt Ziuzia heads a ball upfield. 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: November 26, 2012 6:24AM
ELMWOOD PARK — Elmwood Park’s season came to an end against Payton in the 2A regional final at Elmwood Park on Friday, but the players are focusing on the positives of the last three months.
Senior midfielder Kamil Trestka will never forget his game-winning penalty kick against Von Steuben on Oct. 18 that carried the Tigers into the regional final. Trestka was the fourth kicker for the Tigers after two Von Steuben players failed to convert following the 0-0 draw. Trestka said it was a déjà vu moment as he was thinking about the penalty kick he missed against Riverside-Brookfield the year before that cost Elmwood Park the game.
“I knew I had to put that out of mind and redeem myself,” Trestka said. “Watching the ball hit the back of the net felt amazing.”
According to Trestka, what was even more satisfying was that the Tigers (6-9-3) were reaching a regional final for the first time in his four years as a varsity player.
“Reaching a final my senior year after three years of coming up short felt awesome. I’m very grateful,” Trestka said.
The senior said he leaves the team with good memories.
“All four seasons were something to remember, but my senior year was the most memorable year. I’ll never forget it,” Trestka said.
The most important thing to junior goalkeeper Peter Halir, who had two huge saves in the shootout against Von Steuben, was how well the defense performed all year.
“We had good chemistry, I really enjoyed playing with those guys,” Halir said. “We communicated well and played well.”
Coach Martin Blake also was pleased with the defense, giving them credit for most of the wins during the season.
“The story of the game (against Von Steuben), and of the season, is our goalkeeper Peter Halir and our defensive backs,” Blake said.
But Halir knows there always is room for improvement. Even though this was the most successful season in the last four years for Elmwood Park, the goalkeeper is thinking about next year.
“Next year we have to start out strong, even stronger than this year,” Halir said. “We’re losing a lot of players and we’re going to have to work that much harder and communicate even more to have another good year.”