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Game story: Bloom lowers the boom on Reavis

By Kyle Garmes, 09/01/23, 1:00PM CDT


Blazing Trojans start fast, take Windy City title

BURBANK -- Reavis took the Southland area by storm to start the 2023 season, winning its first four games as the host of the Windy City Classic, its massive 32-team tournament that kicks off the season.

The Rams vaulted into from nowhere to leap into the Chicagoland Soccer Top 25 at no. 24. Heading into the title match against ninth-ranked Bloom, the team had a chance to make an even bigger statement.

Maybe Reavis took that opportunity almost too seriously. 

The Rams fell into an early hole and never recovered, and a well-rounded Bloom squad which is stamping itself as a state threat handed them a 4-0 home loss Thursday.

"There was no energy today," Reavis senior defender Frank Wojtanek said. "We came in too serious. There was no happiness. We didn't want to play today. We were focused on winning instead of having fun."

Reavis (4-1-0) took out respected programs on its way to the title match, including Lincoln-Way East, St. Laurence and Lincoln-Way West. But Bloom (5-0-0), controlled the pace all night with three first half goals and really showed no weaknesses.

Omar Ortiz scored all three of those goals -- often by just being in the right place at the right time.

The junior first struck in the seventh minute, when Jonathan Garnica-Magana played a ball toward the net that Ortiz was waiting for at the left post. He easily tucked his score away.

His second goal came about 16 minutes later, when Bloom once again showed its ability to win the ball in the box. After the ball caromed around a bit, Ortiz volleyed in a short shot right in front of the net.

For good measure, Ortiz then finished off a penalty kick with a minute remaining before intermission.

"We're prone to starting late, starting the second half [strong]," Ortiz said. "But today, we really stepped up."

Reavis has been sparked in the first two weeks of the season by transfer forward Ahmed Dalai, who scored four goals in the season opener against Curie.

But Dalai, who achieved Chicagoland Soccer All-State status at Richards (Oak Lawn) before his family moved, was held in check against Bloom. The speedy, nimble senior had a few dangerous chances around the box but had a difficult time getting clean looks.

Such was the case for Reavis for most of the 70-minute match.

"We definitely came out a little flat," said coach Mark Gniadek. "But no excuses. They came out focused; they came out with intensity that we didn't match right away. It took us a minute to be able to match it, but by that point, it was too late."

Reavis began firing more shots from deep in the second half. Galileo Figueroa had the Rams' best shot of the night when he fired a rocket from 30 yards with about 33 minutes left. But Bloom goalkeeper Angel Galvan coolly knocked the ball over the crossbar.

Reavis earned four of its six corner kicks in the first half but couldn't capitalize.

"I don't know if we were intimidated or what by some of their talented players," Gniadek said. "But we were sitting back more than our game plan was. 

“Our center mids, they felt like they had to help our defense a little bit. When they started trusting them, we were able to clog it up a little bit more in the middle. When that middle's open, they’ve got guys in there that are going to be able to do whatever they want with it."

Bloom finished things off with a goal by David Martinez with 23 minutes remaining. It was perhaps the Blazing Trojans' best score of the night. They worked the ball from right to left, with Martinez calmly finishing off a feed from Ortiz from about 15 yards.

Defender Hector Perez also sparked Bloom. He set up Ortiz' penalty kick by getting fouled in the box after a good run with the ball along the left end line.

Bloom coach Zach Radtke received a Gatorade bath after the win. 

He was a happy, and drenched, camper.

"This was important to these guys," Radtke said. "This is a season about making a statement and showing them exactly what we were last year. These guys have blown me away with how well they've come together so quickly this season."

Bloom has 17 seniors, and Ortiz is the only non-senior starter. Opponents can't really key on one player, because everyone who stepped on the field seemed to be poised with the ball. The Trojans look focused after falling to eventual Class 3A runnerup Romeoville in PKs in the Lockport Sectional title game last year.

"This group has come up since freshman year and just kept building and building to this point," Radtke said. "They've got some things on their minds after losing to Romeoville at the end of the season. They're determined. Even if I take one person out, put another person in, they're all on the same page with each other, which is absolutely incredible."

Reavis looks ahead to host Bremen at 10 a.m. Saturday to start South Suburban Conference play.

Wojtanek said his team was hungry in their first four wins. He's confident they will rebound.

"It was a tough loss, but we should view it as a good thing -- we got second place. There was a lot of good teams in this tournament," Wojtanek said. "We should be ready for our next game on Saturday and be happy -- be happy that we made it all the way this far.

"Negativity will not get us far anyway."

Starting lineups

GK: Angel Galvan
D: Hector Perez
D: Angel Sanchez
D: Leonardo Xolo
D/MF: David Martinez
MF: Miguel Vilchis
MF: Brandon Bravo
MF: Elder Perez-Cruz
MF: Diego Lopez-Flores
F: Jonathan Garnica-Magana
F: Omar Ortiz

GK: Bart Obrochta
D: Krystian Paluch
D: Rafael Grajeda
D: Frank Wojtanek
D: Dante Meza
MF: Galileo Figueroa
MF: Nikolas Lara
MF: Juvenal Padilla
F: Ahmed Dhalai
F: David Garcia
F: Diego Corona

Chicagoland Soccer Man of the Match: Omar Ortiz, jr., forward, Bloom

Scoring summary

First half
Bloom: Ortiz (Garnica-Magana), 7'
Bloom: Ortiz (Martinez), 23'
Bloom: Ortiz (PK), 35'

Second half
Bloom: Martinez (Ortiz), 42'