Prospect's girls soccer team stayed unbeaten in the early going as it cruised past visiting Plainfield Central with a comprehensive 3-0 victory on some frozen turf in Mt. Prospect on Monday.
Jenna Grivas, Kim Welk and Emily Novak were the scorers for the Knights (2-0-1), who produced a fine display of attacking soccer after the intermission to break open a tightly contested tussle with their guests.
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"It was so cold out there tonight, and it become even worse as the night went on, but I was pleased with the way we came out in the second half, and with the energy the girls brought, which only increased after we scored that first goal of the game," said Knights coach Tom Froats, who last week watched his club draw (1-1) with a high-profile side from New Trier. "I thought we played at a very high level against Lake Zurich and New Trier last week, and maybe fell off a little tonight -- but credit (Plainfield) because they battled and fought hard. When we put some decent soccer together, that's when we were able to finally take control."
The Wildcats (0-0-1), who traveled a long way for their season opener, showed their youth and inexperience at times, especially when Prospect was able to locate midfielder Rosie Pettenuzzo. When the ball was on her foot, the Knights' attack was at its best.
"We obviously have to clean some things up, and get a little sharper on both sides of the ball, and we also have to learn to defend in the middle much better, which caused (Prospect) to be in our end a lot tonight," said Central coach Ken Schoen, whose starting lineup feature two freshmen and six sophomores.
In the first period, with Pettenuzzo fueling the attack and Rachel Suarez, Sarah LaCost and Martina Kowalczuk flooding forward, the run of play favored the Knights. But there were just a few quality chances created at sophomore keeper Tiffany Lenza.
Things were different after the break.
After Kowalczuk fired over the bar following a Suarez corner, Grivas had far too much pace on her shot for Lenza, who was unable to handle a wicked drive from the junior.
The Knights' eagerness to extend their lead saw them turn up the pressure on the Wildcats, which led to Kowalczuk going wide on two occasions, and Pettenuzzo getting loose inside the box on a zig-zag run, and forcing Lenza into a save at 55 minutes.
Four minutes later the Knights doubled their lead as the visitors threw them a lifeline when Welk's low drive found its way just inside the near post when it appeared either Lenza or a teammate may have aided its eventual destination into the back of the net.
"We haven't been out much at all, and it showed, especially in the second half when we were forced to defend so much," said Schoen.
Novak put the icing on the cake when her low drive gained speed off the frozen turf and flew past Lenza, who had no chance to stop the 28 yards blast.
Senior Eileen McTigue easily earned her second shutout of the season, with the help of her mates in the back Elena Cukurs, Trisha Benson and Kristen Frasco.
"This was a good way to start a week which has us playing our first conference match on Wednesday against an always quality side in Schaumburg, and we know we had better be ready to go on that night if we hope to get a favorable result," said Froats.