Gianluca Lo Casto a game-time decision for OPRF showdown with Fenwick
Oak Park-River Forest's Gianluca Lo Casto (15) and Downers Grove South's Nick Suker (10) in an IHSA regional final in Oak Park on Oct. 22, 2010. | Rob Hart~Sun Times Media
Updated: September 17, 2012 10:22PM
OAK PARK — With five games in the next nine days, Oak Park-River Forest senior midfielder Gianluca Lo Casto feels ready to play, but coach Paul Wright is taking a more conservative approach.
Lo Casto dislocated his left shoulder Aug. 29 after suffering a serious spill during a 3-1 loss to Young in a nonconference game at Oak Park Stadium. Lo Casto, one of the top returning players from last year’s 20-4-1 Class 3A regional champions, chased after a ball that went out of bounds. His cleats slipped on the running track and he landed on his shoulder.
Lo Casto believes he’s questionable to play at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a nonconference contest against neighborhood rival Fenwick (3-2). Donations at the game will benefit the Oak Park-River Forest Walk-in Ministry.
Wright said he will make his decision after Lo Casto’s doctor’s appointment earlier Friday.
“It is a 50-50 chance he will play,” Wright said.
The Huskies (1-4-1) have been outscored 11-3 this season and lost 2-0 to Glenbard West Sept. 3 without Lo Casto in the lineup. OPRF has lost four consecutive games entering the Fenwick game.
OPRF, a No. 15 seed at the Pepsi Showdown, opens the tournament at 1 p.m. Saturday against West Chicago at Lyons’ North campus in La Grange.
The winner plays No. 2-seeded Libertyville or Lisle on Tuesday. The Pepsi Showdown’s third round is Thursday and the final round is Sept. 15 at Lyons.
Lo Casto, who is wearing a sling to school, missed practice earlier this week before returning for a partial workout Thursday. He has not scored this season while being more focused on defense as a center midfielder.
“I have to hold my arm to my chest. I taped it to my body,” Lo Casto said. “With my arm now, I can’t really pump my arm back and forth to run.”
The Huskies are looking to replace the offense that last year was generated by leading scorer Stephen Golz, who now is at Wheaton College.
“Coach Wright said if I get to play (Friday), I’ll play forward where there is less running,” Lo Casto said.