Every team needs a little bit of luck now and then - just ask Buffalo Grove.
Having a bad go of it the past two weeks of the girls soccer season, the Bison took advantage of an early own goal - then went on to give a solid performance in their tourney opener to beat Niles North 2-1 at Techny Park in Northbrook on the first day of the inaugural Glenbrook Cup.
Next up for the Bison in pool play is Lincoln-Way North today at 9:45, followed by a 2:30 match with McHenry - both at Techny Park.
Kim Gerling initiated the own goal with a well-aimed serve from the left side which wound up in the Vikings net just three minutes in.
Then the Bison captain teamed with Lauren Zickert to strike on a brilliant goal just before the break.
"We've been kind of going backwards in our last few games, so to get that early (break) with that own goal, almost seemed to be exactly what this team needed," said Gerling, who - along with Carolynn Wieland, Kelly Maloney and Kelly Vande Merkt - helped liven things up during the early exchanges.
"It's been a roller-coaster type of season for us, and after winning back-to-back matches, we came out here and didn't give it a lot of effort, and played with little or no urgency, with (Buffalo Grove) having a lot to do with that as well," said Vikings coach Dan Edminster, a star for Mike Taylor at St. Viator and former teammate of Bison coach Pat Dudle when both played club soccer for the Arlington Aces.
"We really needed this win today," Dudle said. "I told the girls before our match that (this) tournament would signal a new and fresh start for us and our season, and if we can grab some momentum from our two days here, we can use it for the second half of the season."
The Bison (4-9-0) responded nicely to Dudle's pregame speech.
After catching their early break, the Bison dominated in the middle, both in the air and on the floor to keep the Vikings (6-8-0) in its own end while they attacked.
Zickert initiated the second goal when the junior took the ball off the foot of her opponent near the midline on the left side, then ran forward up the flank before connecting with Gerling.
The junior applied the finishing touch with a low blast from 15 yards.
Junior Amanda Reichardt converted a free kick nine minutes into the second half for the Vikings' lone goal.
Bison freshman Carly Brown played a solid match, as did Paige Smith.
"We have a good mix of young and experienced players this season, but it has taken us a long time to find each other and to play the way we can," said Gerling, "so maybe (today) is the start of better times ahead for us."