A 3-goal explosion in a seven-minute span helped lead Buffalo Grove to a 3-1 victory Thursday afternoon in the tournament opener for the Bison at the second annual Glenbrook Cup, hosted by Glenbrook North at Techny Park in Northbrook.
Three different players were on target for Pat Dudle's club to help the Bison (7-6-1) earn 9 points in pool play heading into Saturday morning's 7:30 match with Deerfield. The Warriors drew 1-1 with Glenbrook South in another match in BG's division.
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"Our team this year has a lot of speed and skill, and when we play like we did (at) times today, and on turf, we can play a pretty nice brand of soccer," said Dudle, "but the thing we're continually looking for with such a young roster is to be consistent, and sometimes we struggle with that."
On Wednesday, the Bison missed a chance to stay close to MSL East leader Rolling Meadows when they dropped a 3-1 decision to Schaumburg to fall further behind the front-running Mustangs.
Despite the recent tough loss, the Bison started well and soon found themselves continually around the Lake Forest (4-1-0) area with plenty of one-way traffic led by rookies Allie Ingham, Kim Herzog and Skylar Groth.
"We're a really young team this year, but with that it also brings a lot of speed, quickness and energy when we play, especially when we're away from our grass field at home, and on turf like we are today," said senior Kelly Mahoney, who was pushed into the midfield to help add some stability to the starting lineup. The team's leading scorer, Carolynn Wieland, is sidelined with a concussion, and midfielder Kelly VandeMerkt and senior Sierra Bugno are both recovering from injuries.
The Bison fell behind at 28 minutes when Georgiana Wagemann, a dangerous striker, sent a wonderful ball along the floor to the near post, where Ella Petersen redirected past Bison goalkeeper Katie Okamoto.
But the Class 1A Caxys soon found themselves up against it just after the break. Mahoney drew the Bison even with a header off a Karly Brown corner, and subsequent strikes courtesy of Ingham and Herzog put the Bison up by 2 goals and on their way to a first-round victory.
"We really enjoy coming to this tournament despite the fact that we're a very small 1A soccer program, but we also feel that it helps prepare us for the state playoffs next month," said Lake Forest Academy coach Kevin Versen.
Brown, a sophomore, and freshman Kelli Zickert helped initiate Ingham's goal. Her pacy, zig-zag carry into the box through a crowd ended with her finishing past keeper Michelle Moon just two minutes after the Mahoney header.
Five minutes later, Herzog roared down the left side on the tail end of her run to apply the finishing touch on a well played ball to the back post from Brown, whose strong effort on the outside helped break down the Caxys on the right side.
JJ Lowery, Lindsay Puppolo and Courtney Carlton were steady along the back line for Buffalo Grove.