Boys Soccer: Windy City Ram Classic title goes to Marian Catholic
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media September 8, 2013 9:58PM
The Marian Catholic boys soccer team celebrates winning the Windy City Ram Classic championship Sunday. | Supplied photo
Updated: October 10, 2013 6:38AM
With the Windy City Ram Classic championship on the line, Marian Catholic goalie Chris Taborn came up huge time and again Sunday.
Taborn made two terrific saves in overtime and another in the penalty-kick shootout as the Spartans pulled out a 3-2 win, outscoring T.F. United 4-2 in the shootout to capture their first Windy City Ram Classic title at Toyota Park.
Taborn denied a strong chance for Jose Sandoval in the opening minute of the first overtime and made a kick save to turn away Ray Kobus’ shot on a breakaway later in the period.
He shut down Sandoval again in the first round of penalty kicks, lunging to his left to make a save and send the Spartans (8-0) to victory.
“There’s not much I can say, I just had to come up big,” said Taborn, who earned the tournament’s Most Outstanding Goaltender award. “The penalty-kick save was huge. Stopping that first one set the tone for us.”
Marian scored on all four of its attempts in the shootout. Trenton Blake, Cody Rodas and Liam Fagan found the net before tournament MVP Alec Guarino scored the clinching goal to set off the Spartans’ celebration.
“It was pretty cool to score the winning goal at Toyota Park and to see my team running out at me,” Guarino said. “It feels pretty good.”
T.F. United (5-1) got goals from Sandoval and Alexis Gallegos. Kobus contributed two assists.
Gallegos tied the match at 2-2 with 13:14 to go, poking in the ball after a wild scramble in front of the net following Kobus’ free kick into the box from 30 yards out.
“It was a great experience playing in this game,” Kobus said. “We exceeded our expectations getting here and we did our best. We had our chances and we just didn’t finish.”
Luiscarlo Avila and Sam Roche scored for Marian, Roche heading home Rodas’ free kick for a 2-1 lead 18 minutes in.
“I didn’t even know it went in,” Roche said. “I headed it, hurt my head a bit, then I looked up and my teammates were telling me I scored. It was an unbelievable feeling.”
The Spartans, who haven’t won double-digit games in a season since 2006, already are just one victory shy of their win total from a 9-14-3 2012 campaign.
“I don’t think any soccer team at Marian has ever started 8-0,” Marian coach Nasser Shahtaji said. “We’re in unchartered territory. It’s exciting.”