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Game story: Lake Forest ends scoring drought, submerges Deerfield

By Bill McLean, 09/03/23, 12:30PM CDT


Quiet bus trip to game leads to roaring 4-2 Scouts nonconference victory

DEERFIELD — Lake Forest’s Scouts said as many words on the bus ride to Deerfield on Friday night as they had scored goals in their last three games — zero.

“Total silence,” Lake Forest junior Kashyap Prasad recalled after the nonconference matchup of previously 1-3-0 squads. “We were locked in.”

“We were super focused on the way over here, getting ready to go,” Scouts senior co-captain and forward Campbell Allan added.

The Scouts got off the bus, leaving peace and quiet behind, and proceeded to make all kinds of racket — via their soccer chops — at Paul Adams Field.

The Scouts erupted for a pair of goals in each half of their 4-2 defeat of the Warriors. They hadn’t scored since the fifth minute of their season-opening 1-0 win defeat of Highland Park on Aug. 22.

“What made me happy tonight was the way we reacted to Deerfield’s first score,” Lake Forest coach Rob Parry said, alluding to Warriors’ senior midfielder Andrew Babos’ PK, which pared the visitors’ lead to 2-1 in the 43rd minute. “We hadn’t reacted well at all after falling behind 1-0 in each of our previous three games.

“Deerfield,” he added, “came out fired up at the start of the second half. Deerfield pressured us and played more aggressively.”

Lake Forest responded splendidly to the spot-kick. Four minutes later, beginning with a hustle play by Prasad that will likely be rehashed at the team’s banquet in November, the right back sprinted to a spot along the sideline in front of his team’s bench to save the ball from going out of bounds. That lofty kick toward Deerfield’s zone curved as it ascended and landed inbounds, barely. Prasad then took the ball and booted it to Allan, who headed an 18-yard shot at Warriors junior goalkeeper Xander Yang, all while the tireless Prasad zipped toward the twine in case he was needed.

A rebound shot was not required.

“I trusted my speed,” Prasad said of his initial scramble in the entertaining sequence.

The goal was a significant one, and not just because it came in Prasad’s first varsity start. The play simultaneously doused Deerfield’s momentum and electrified Lake Forest. For their efforts, Prasad and Allan shared the Chicagoland Soccer Man of the Match honor.

Lake Forest made it 4-1 moments after a free kick in the 50th minute. Scouts senior midfielder Dodge Strothman launched the set piece from about 30 yards. Reserve back Will Fox gathered it and banged a shot off the crossbar before it fell at the feet of alert junior midfielder Tyler Bernstein, who blasted a 12-yard, near-post tally.

The performance did not sit well in the Deerfield camp.

“I’m disappointed,” Warriors coach Ryan Crane admitted after the loss. “We have talented players but a lot of learning to do this season. We’re still learning to play together. We’re young, with some competing on varsity for the first time.

“Lake Forest, it seemed, took advantage of every opportunity it got,” the second-year varsity helmsman continued. “That’s a very good team. Their players are quick to the ball and clinical in front of the goal.”

Deerfield’s Babos achieved a brace when he capped the night’s scoring with an unassisted, five-yard goal in the 76th minute.

“Andrew is confident on the ball,” Crane said. “He knows what he wants to do, and when it’s best to do something. He’s very aware of what’s going on around him. But scoring isn’t his favorite part of soccer; it’s setting up his teammates so that they feel involved and become accustomed to scoring chances.”

Babos, a savvy playmaker, last played club soccer in middle school, he noted afterward. Based on the high level of skill he displayed Friday night, most would react with “You’re kidding!”

“My main role is to distribute,” Babos said. “After that, it’s to be creative and take a shot, but only if needed.”

Crane tried his best to up the urgency in his booters. At one point he dashed along the sideline as Deerfield senior forward Mason Greitens dribbled quickly ahead during a second half rush.

“Just trying to inject some energy there,” said Crane, a Deerfield graduate who played goalkeeper for two regional championship teams.

Lake Forest used a corner kick to set up its first goal in 10 days at the 24-minute mark. Bernstein’s left leg delivered the ball to senior left back and co-captain Dominick Ziaja, who jabbed home a far-post goal from two yards.

Ten minutes later, Ziaja connected with Allan, whose ensuing flick found Lake Forest senior midfielder Griffin Werner. He slipped his 12-yard shot to the left of Yang for a 2-0 lead -- which must have felt like a 20-0 advantage for a crew starving for goals.

The best back on the pitch Friday night was Lake Forest sophomore Connor Gustafson. Headed clears, steals, disruptions delivered with toughness and an impeccable acumen -- he did it all.

“He’s physical,” Allan said. 

Lake Forest sophomore right wing George Thomas has quite a motor. He flashed his speed to make an impact at both ends of Adams Field and nearly scored a goal in the 55th minute.

Deerfield junior midfielder Joey Awad played exceptionally well off the bench. Composed and smart, the Warrior exhibited smooth dribbling skills while initiating transitions.

Winning keeper Charlie Engelberg, a Scouts junior, made nine saves. Deerfield’s Yang and Liam Connolly, a freshman, finished with three stops apiece.

Deerfield, now a member of the Central Suburban League South Division, hosts now conference cross-over foe Maine West at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Lake Forest takes on host and North Suburban Conference foe Waukegan at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday. 


Between his commitments to the books and soccer, Babos finds time to work construction for his father’s company. … Allan, Ziaja and senior left center back Austin Okada are serving as tri-captains for Lake Forest this fall. “They’re all quiet, but of the three, Campbell Allan is the most talkative,” Parry said. “That’s probably because he plays basketball, too.” … Deerfield’s co-captains are senior midfielder/back Jason Nieder and junior midfielder Cristian Carani. … More than half (12) of Deerfield’s 21-player varsity are juniors. Crane’s club also includes freshman keepers Connolly and Max Khrabatyn.

Starting lineups

Lake Forest
GK Charlie Engelberg
D Connor Gustafson
D Kashyap Prasad
D Dominic Ziaja
D Austin Okada
MF Dodge Strothman
MF Tyler Bernstein
MF Boden Rupprecht
F George Thomas
F Tito Ford
F Campbell Allan

GK Xander Yang
D Jake Berger
D Noah Harwood
D Jason Nieder
D Chase Goldsmith
MF Nicholas Biank
MF Cristian Carani
MF Matthew Seed
MF Andrew Babos
MF Callen Jakymiw
F Carlos Pacheco

Chicagoland Soccer Men of the Match: Campbell Allan, sr., F, Lake Forest; 
Kashyap Prasad, jr., D, Lake Forest

Scoring summary

First half
Lake Forest — Ziaja (Bernstein), 24’
Lake Forest — Griffin Werner (Ziaja, Allan), 34’

Second half
Deerfield — Babos (PK), 43’
Lake Forest — Allan (Prasad), 47’
Lake Forest — Bernstein (Will Fox), 50’
Deerfield — Babos (unassisted), 76’