AURORA — It took place nearly two months ago.
Nevertheless, it was, as former President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, “a date which will live in infamy” for the Aurora boys soccer team.
Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you talk to standout Greenmen defender Hugo Krondorfer. In fact, the senior captain holds onto the evening of Aug. 26 as if it was his most cherished possession.
“We always keep it in our mind,” Krondorfer said. “We make sure that we warm up well. I always remind my teammates that during practice or during warmups to take themselves seriously.”
So what exactly happened on that date?
Fortunately, there were no explosions. There also haven’t been any recommendations for declaring war since that rainy night in late August.
However, that infamous date was a dark day for Aurora on the pitch.
It was the Greenmen’s worst performance of the season, according to their head coach, Jason Bibza.
Aurora surrendered an early lead in a hard-to-swallow 2-1 loss to Perry at Veterans Stadium. And no, Krondorfer isn’t going to dismiss such a performance as long as he’s playing for the Greenmen.
That game was a much-needed wake-up call. Thus, Krondorfer isn’t going to let his teammates sleep until he awakens from his lingering nightmare.
“We don’t want to play like we did against Perry,” Krondorfer said. “I always remind them of Perry and how disappointing it was and how embarrassing it was to lose to them.”
Nearly two months later, it’s safe to say there is nothing “embarrassing” about Aurora’s play now.
And the best part is this: The Greenmen are in no hurry to open their eyes from this potentially magnificent dream.
Aurora advanced to a Kent Division II district semifinal game after rolling past Beachwood 5-1 Saturday at Veterans Stadium.
The Greenmen stretched their unbeaten streak to six games and earned a date with a friendly rival. Aurora is scheduled to host Revere Tuesday. The Greenmen defeated the Minutemen 3-2 in a Suburban League American Conference showdown earlier in the season.
“As a senior, I really want to go as far as we can,” Krondorfer said. “I believe with our team and how our team has chemistry and how we react with each other, I believe we can get pretty far.”
The loss to Perry certainly proved Aurora’s vulnerability as it tried to mesh its promising pieces together. But it didn’t crush the Greenmen’s spirits.
“We all have certain skills that bind the team together,” Krondorfer said. “This team is just really good with each other. There’s no drama within the team.”
Krondorfer hopes the only “drama” for him and his teammates will take place in another few weeks. Aurora is seeking its second trip to the state semifinals in three years.
Whether the Greenmen reach that lofty destination is anyone’s guess. One way or another, though, Krondorfer’s memories of a certain date in August are becoming more and more vague with each passing day.
For the most part, at least.
“I’m really proud of how we progressed from Perry,” Krondorfer said.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.