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Panthers are playing with pride

Lakes' Caleb Arnwine (left) kicks one back towards goal as Round Lake's Eddie Ramirez guards him during their soccer match

Lakes' Caleb Arnwine (left) kicks one back towards the goal as Round Lake's Eddie Ramirez guards him during their soccer match at Round Lake High School. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 6, 2012 2:03AM

Freshman Freddie Ramirez one-timed a cross from Sergio Gomez into the net in the 68th minute to break a tie and give host Round Lake a 2-1 win over Lakes on Thursday in a battle of the best teams in the North Suburban Conference Prairie Division.

The result avenged a 3-2 result in the finals of the Lake Forest tourney last month. The Panthers are 6-2 overall and 2-0 in the NSC Prairie.

Lakes is 7-2 and 1-1.

The game had an odd flow, as the teams combined for 15 shots on goal in the first 61 minutes, with nothing getting past keepers Kevin Ray (Lakes) and Jose Martinez (Round Lake).

Then, in the next seven minutes, three shots were fired on frame and all wound up in the onion bag.

Playing a man down (ejection), Eddie Ramirez (no relation to Freddie) scored on a combination play in the box in the 62nd minute.

Lakes countered in the 64th minute when Lucas Istvanek set up near the post and converted a pass from Caleb Arnwine.

But four minutes later, Gomez played a lob cross and Ramirez was running toward the far post and volleyed it home.

“They’re our big rivals in the division. They’re the team we have to beat,” noted Gomez. “We wanted to give them our best game.

“At halftime (0-0), we talked about how we kept getting chances, but we weren’t able to finish. We knew that if we kept putting pressure on them, they’d start going in.”

Winning coach Hugo Tellez was pleased with the way his club executed while playing a man down from the 52nd minute on..

“The first game (against Lakes), we made some bad mistakes that really hurt us. Today, we played our game.”

After Round Lake grabbed the lead, Lakes had a couple of chances.

In the 74th minute, Trevor Ray’s rocket was just off frame.

And in the 76th minute, Martinez had to leave the pitch after getting shaken up vying for a 50-50 ball in the box.

Lakes, however, could not get the equalizer.

“I thought we had some good chances in the first half that we could have done better with,” said Lakes coach Kevin Kullby. “If you can get up a goal or two, you get some confidence and play a little differently.

“Defensively, we did an outstanding job throughout most of the game, but we got countered and didn’t defend well in those situations.”

Though now 2-0 in the division, Tellez said the division title is not wrapped up just yet.

“Of course, this is a big rivalry game, but we still have other games to play,” the coach said. “Years before, we would be looking ahead to the big games.

“Now, we’re the big game on other teams’ schedules so we can’t afford to look ahead.”

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