The Prospect attack continues to stay in the fast lane.
Goals from Sarah LaCost, Rosie Pettenuzo and Emily Novak within a nine-minute span proved too much for Palatine on Thursday night in Mt. Prospect in the Knights' 4-3 victory in Mid-Suburban League crossover action.
After striking for 5 goals its previous time out against Rolling Meadows, Prospect's 3-goal eruption just minutes into the second period allowed coach Tom Froats' club to secure its second conference victory of the season while pushing its overall record to 5-0-1.
"We came out very strong in the early stages, but then didn't do a very good job of matching the energy from Palatine," said Froats. "But in the second half, especially in the first 15 minutes, we played with a lot more urgency -- much better attacking soccer. And that might have been the difference in our eventual result."
Most of the play in the first quarter-hour was between the 18's, the exceptions being a shot on frame from LaCost which forced a save from Rachel Rhodes, and another from Pettenuzo at the end of a well-run counter.
Rhodes also stopped Martina Kowalczuk's close-range shot, but the rebound spilled back out to the opportunistic freshman, who with her second chance found the back of the net at 24 minutes.
The Knights' lead was short-lived. Michelle Raymond tricked her way into the area before putting her low drive off the far post and into the net to draw the Pirates even just 60 seconds later.
The goal seemed to inspire the visitors, who pushed forward, took advantage of the gaps and regularly played through Raymond, Gina Falato, Erica Amezcus and others to put the hosts on the defensive for the rest of the first half.
"We kind of fell into playing the way (Palatine) wanted us to in that first half, and got away from what we do well, but fortunately we found our game in the second half and really turned things around for us quickly," said LaCost.
Just before intermission, a Morgan Radtke free kick eventually fell to Falato, which would require a nice save from Prospect keeper Eileen McTigue to keep things even at the break.
The Knights made a convincing start to the second period with freshman Andi Marfilius testing Rhodes from 20 yards, and LaCost putting a strong effort on frame after a corner from Novak.
However, when the Pirates (0-4-0, 0-2-0) were unable to get the ball out of their own end, the Knights took full advantage of the situation -- first when an angled pass from the right side found LaCost, whose sublime touch went past a diving Rhodes, and later by Pettenuzzo, who doubled the lead just two minutes later.
"It's too bad that all of that good stuff we were doing for most of the first half was erased with a couple of letdowns in our own end which resulted in those two quick goals, but I've got to take some responsibility for it all because I really didn't have the right combination in there from the start of the second half," said Palatine coach Willie Filian, who was missing one of his top players in forward Kellie Reynolds.
Novak gave her side a 3-goal advantage at 53 minutes when she beat Rhodes with a hard drive, but the visitors didn't fold after conceding the Novak strike.
Kelci Deal guided her shot past McTigue after a well-aimed corner from Radtke, and Palatine got one goal closer when Radtke's inward swinging corner in the 80th minute danced into the back of the net.
"We had to defend a little bit more than we wanted to at the end, but credit Palatine for playing hard, and still coming at us, despite chasing three goals," said Froats.
Schaumburg 2, Geneva 1: Riley Williams scored unassisted for Schaumburg's first goal in tournament play at St. Charles, then provided the game-winning assist to Amanda Kelly in the second half as the Saxons topped Geneva.
Tressa Palcheck made 8 saves for Schaumburg.
Waukegan 3, Maine West 2: Joanna Stanfa had both of the Warriors' in a Central Suburban League defeat in Des Plaines.