Waubonsie V. overcomes Geneva's halftime lead
Kristen Dodson was the beneficiary of some gorgeous pinpoint passing.
The Waubonsie Valley junior made Geneva pay as a result.
Dodson scored twice -- exactly nine minutes apart -- in the second half to lead the Warriors' girls soccer team past Geneva in an Upstate Eight Conference crossover match in Aurora.
With the Waubonsie Valley grass field unusable, the match was held on the synthetic surface at Metea Valley.
Five minutes and 40 seconds into the second half, Dodson received a perfect feed from sophomore Zasha Gazder and beat the Vikings' keeper to the short side with an off-footed low runner.
Only minutes after Geneva keeper Sam Hauser had one of several exceptional saves -- this time a kick save from point-blank range -- Dodson struck again.
Working in tandem with Morgan Kemerling, Dodson finished with a blistering riser with 25:20 remaining in the second half.
"We do a lot of give-and-goes," Dodson said. "That's what we have been working on in practice. We just brought our practice to the game. Zasha and Morgan both gave me beautiful passes, and I was able to knock them in."
Waubonsie Valley twin keepers Emma Rigby and Erin Morgan both made critical saves over the last 20-plus minutes to preserve the Warriors' tenuous lead in the Vikings' season opener.
The Warriors (1-1) dominated time of possession and shot opportunities.
Waubonsie Valley would ultimately finish with 18 shots to the Vikings' 8.
But Geneva did have a revelation in Hauser.
Making her varsity debut between the posts, Hauser had 3 brilliant saves in the opening half to preserve the Vikings' early lead.
The most notable was her punch save on Karla DiJohn, whose brilliantly crafted floater from 25 yards out was dead on inside the crossbar.
But Hauser punched the sure goal innocuously out of bounds at the apex of her jump.
"(Hauser) is a converted field player," Geneva coach Megan Owens said. "It isn't easy playing Waubonsie the first game of the year. She did an amazing job for us today."
Geneva (0-1), despite going almost 18 minutes between shot attempts, drew first blood on the most unlikely of circumstances.
After being awarded a corner kick, sophomore Megan Kozlow had her left-to-right low liner go through the Waubonsie Valley wall and past its keeper midway through the first half.
"It was kind of a fluke on them," Kozlow admitted.
But Waubonsie Valley responded after the intermission as the twin Dodson connections negated a 2-0 season-opening loss to Lyons Township for the three-time state championship program.
"I thought both halves were solid," Waubonsie Valley coach Julie Bergstrom said. "I think we're playing some good soccer, considering it's March."
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