Highland Park fights back to earn draw at Glenbrook South
Glenbrook South junior Kosta Brkovic takes a shot on goal during the home game against Highland Park on Sept. 13. Glenbrook South tied Highland Park 2-2. | Michael Jarecki ~ for Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 14, 2012 4:01PM
GLENVIEW — With only 45 seconds remaining in Thursday’s boys soccer game, Highland Park senior Nikita Katsman turned and fired a shot past Glenbrook South goalie Zachary Saltzman for the equalizer. The goal capped Highland Park’s comeback from a two-goal deficit and helped the Giants earn a 2-2 tie in the cold, rainy weather at Glenbrook South.
“It felt great to get that last goal,” said Katsman, a midfielder/forward. I thought I played really badly earlier in the game, so I really wanted to make something happen.”
The game also was a tale of two halves told along the track of a storm.
Highland Park found itself down 2-0 at the end of the first half after Glenbrook South’s offensive onslaught and goals from senior forward Simone Kolodezh (4:23) and junior midfielder Kosta Brkovic (24:49).
Highland Park coach Blake Novotny said his team lacked energy and focus during the opening 40 minutes.
“I told them at half that No. 11 for the other team (Brkovic) was playing harder than the rest of our team put together,” Novotny said. “He was everywhere on the field.”
Said Katsman: “We weren’t used to playing in the rain so some of our passes were off and we were sloppy and slow.”
“Take this half” was the rallying cry in Highland Park’s team huddle, and the Giants came out with energy, eventually fighting for a goal in the 54th minute from sophomore Amit Tal.
“After (Tal’s) goal, we felt great, and just kept pressing hard,” Katsman said.
The other star of the game for the Giants was their goalkeeper, Carlos Pineda, who had several impressive stops.
“He played an amazing game,” said Novotny, “He was the only one playing that first half. It could have been three or four to zip if he hadn’t done so well.”
Glenbrook South head coach Paul Agombar cited a good Highland Park team and the harsh weather for the turnaround in fortunes.
“ A lot of it had to do with the wind. We had the wind in the first half and scored two goals, and they had the wind in the second half and scored two goals,” Agombar said.
In spite of missing out on the win, Agombar said he that he and his team were still happy with the effort and the increased offensive output.
“We’ve worked on shooting and finishing in the last two practices, and our focus was on … how many shots we were taking. And we addressed that,” he said. “So I can’t be disappointed in the way we played.
“It was a satisfactory result, it was just unsatisfactory the way it ended. If they had offered us a 2-2 tie, we would have probably taken it.”