Naperville North falls to Fremd in defensive battle

Senior Zach Schoffstall is supposed to be Fremd’s leading scorer.

The forward finished second on the team in scoring last year and everyone expects him to lead the Vikings this fall.

Schoffstall likely will be the leader but at the moment it is his younger brother, Luke, who leads the way having scored both of Fremd’s goals. Both were game-winners.

Luke Schoffstall’s latest strike came on Thursday when he booted home a short shot in traffic with 29:15 left in the second half to give Fremd a 1-0 upset victory over host Naperville North at the Best of the West tournament.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Fremd (2-3), which hadn’t scored since Luke Schoffstall produced the only goal in a season-opening win over Maine South.

“We’ll take it,” Fremd coach Steve Keller said. “It’s just nice to win and to score and keep a shutout. I thought we played fairly sound defensively and our work rate was pretty good.

“I think our defense and midfield are the reason we won that game.”

Defense reigned supreme at both ends of the field as there were only eight shots, five of which were on frame.

Schoffstall’s goal came after Zach Schoffstall launched a long throw-in from the right wing that sailed over the head of Naperville North goalkeeper Christian Robert and deflected off a defender. Robert dove for the ball but Luke Schoffstall beat him to it.

“It was actually a good throw because it got over the keeper, but then I got a lucky bounce off a defender and it came back to me,” Luke Schoffstall said. “It just happened to bounce my way and I got one in.”

Lucky or not, Luke Schoffstall was the most effective player on the field for Fremd, which has struggled mightily to put pressure on opposing defenses. He had one of the few quality scoring chances of the first half when he settled the ball in the box, turned and fired a hard 12-yard shot that was knocked around the right post by Robert with 25:00 left.

Four minutes later, Robert stopped a 25-yard one-hopper from Zach Schoffstall. It was Zach’s only shot of the game but he’s not worried about an extended goal drought.

“I feel like we’re playing better every game,” he said. “We just need to possess more and finish in the final third when we have possession.

“If we can just do all those things we’ll be more attack-mind and get more numbers forward and the goals will come.”

The Huskies (3-2) haven’t lacked for scoring but were shut out for the first time this season.

“As I told the boys, we didn’t deserve to win but we didn’t deserve to lose, either,” Naperville North coach Jim Konrad said.

Naperville North will have to beat Benet on Saturday morning in order to advance to Saturday night’s championship game.

“I think we played pretty good defensively,” Naperville North senior defender Brandon Hipp said. “We could have touched things up a little bit but overall we didn’t play that bad. We’re going to give our best effort on Saturday against a good Benet team and hopefully we can get through to Saturday night.”

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