Buffalo Grove has shut out six of its 12 opponents this year and will be using that defense as a recipe for success.
The back line has recorded six shutouts in twelve matches to help Buffalo Grove (3-5-4, 1-3-2) remain competitive in Mid-Suburban League play.
“We’ve played well in back,” said Buffalo Grove coach Rick Carlson. “The two guys in back in the middle are really good athletes and good soccer players. They’ve been aggressive … they’re strong, and they anticipate well.”
The Bison defense is organized as a flat-four across the back, as opposed to using a stopper and sweeper.
“The two center backs are able to communicate more with each other,” said Allan Santiaguillo, a senior defender and co-captain. “If I go up the other (center back) stays back, and vice-versa.”
The defenders are not the only ones involved in keeping opponents off the scoreboard. Buffalo Grove’s forwards funnel the ball to one sideline or the other. The midfielders apply on-ball pressure, forcing opponents into misplacing passes. Much like on the back line, the communication starts from the central players.
“Sometimes what we lack is a little intensity,” said senior midfielder and co-captain Zach Masciopinto. “When I’m in the middle of the field I feel like I have to control where our players are, and using my voice is a great way to do that.”
During last Tuesday’s match against Barrington, the Bison defensive pressure kept the Broncos, who dominated possession, from getting good looks on goal. Buffalo Grove’s stiff resistance forced Barrington to move one of its defenders up into the midfield to generate more opportunities.
“In the second half, we were just trying to bear down and keep the ball in front of us,” Masciopinto said.
The Bison eventually gave up a goal after a penalty kick was awarded with 46 seconds remaining. An inadvertent handball in the final minute was the only thing standing between the defense and another scoreless 80 minutes of soccer.
Originally posted on 10/02/13
By Jakub Rudnik