Home Local News Luke Thiesse is a slam dunk in net for Sandburg soccer

Luke Thiesse is a slam dunk in net for Sandburg soccer

Luke Thiesse is a slam dunk in net for Sandburg soccer

A basketball injury kept Sandburg junior Luke Thiesse off the soccer field through the spring and part of the summer.

When Thiesse returned, he had the focus he needed to earn the starting goalkeeper position in his varsity debut.

“I broke my wrist during basketball season and was in a cast for 12 weeks,” Thiesse said. “I was out for so long, and I think that helped me because it made me work harder when I came back. I knew I had to get better. I knew what I had to do.

“I was hungry for that starting spot.”

Thiesse won the job and has put together some huge performances in net. He made six saves Thursday night to lead the host Eagles to a 2-1 win over rival Stagg in a key Southwest Suburban Conference crossover.

“We’ve been teasing Luke because the last two years he was tall but skinny,” Sandburg coach Desi Vuillaume said. “Now, he’s a man. I feel like he’s finally grown athletically into his body, and he’s amazing to watch back there.”

Muhammed Hussein and Sebastian Burzynski scored goals for Sandburg (9-1-2), with Burzynski adding an assist.

Bart Jaskowski scored off an assist from Kamil Bak for Stagg (12-2-1), which had a 12-game unbeaten streak snapped.

Sandburg struck for two goals in the first 15 minutes, but the Chargers threatened to fight back late in the first half, creating several dangerous opportunities.

That’s when Thiesse stepped up, getting his body in the way of Kacper Dziubek’s shot on a breakaway, leaping to tip Steven Potoczny’s free kick over the crossbar and getting his hands on Abdallah Omar’s shot off a corner kick.


Thiesse continued to impress his coaches and teammates.

“He’s putting in the work,” Vuillaume said. “He shut out Naperville Central earlier in the year. Almost got the shutout in this game. He’s the real deal. He’s catching a lot of eyes all of a sudden.”

The 6-foot-5 Thiesse has been playing goalkeeper since he was 8 years old.

“They moved me there just because I was tall,” Thiesse said. “It’s worked out so far. My height is definitely an advantage. I can go up and get the ball and no one can really challenge me.

“There aren’t many other 6-foot-5 guys that can get up there and get it over me.”


The Eagles took the pressure off Thiesse with some early offense Thursday.

Less than five minutes in, Hussein scored off an assist from Burzynski, who then made it 2-0 in the 15th minute by heading in a corner kick from Ben Lyons.

With their eyes on a potential top seed in a Class 3A sectional, the Eagles came out motivated.

“We’ve prepared for this, knowing it was our biggest game of the season,” Burzynski said. “We knew they were the team to beat. We’re going for that No. 1 seed, and this was the game we needed.”

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Stagg shook off the rough start and battled back but could not get a ball past Thiesse until Jaskowski broke through with 5:20 left.


It wasn’t enough.

“I don’t think we started particularly well,” Stagg coach Mike Kealy said. “Hats off to Sandburg for coming out and putting two in.

“Trying to score two goals against Sandburg in one half is really tough to do. That might be the toughest opponent we’ve seen all year.”

The Eagles are even tougher with a confident goalkeeper.

“There’s no reason for me to fall under pressure anymore,” Thiesse said. “I’ve been playing long enough. I know what I’ve got to do, and I just go out and do it.”

Steve Millar is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.



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