St. Edward girls soccer coach Tim Brieger tried to convince his team not to dump the water cooler on him Saturday morning.
The players didn't care and tried anyway. But Brieger was able to avoid the water and celebrate his and the program's 200th victory, a 3-0 win over Harvest Christian at the Green Wave Invitational at Greg True Field.
"It goes to the success of the program," Brieger said. "If you look at it, you're averaging more than 10 wins a season. For a single A school that in the early years was playing the St. Charles, the Larkins and the Elgins, to even be able to get it this quick is kind of nice."
The Green Wave started playing varsity girls soccer in 1996 with little equipment and funding. They wore the boys teams uniforms and played games at the Toastmaster fields on the east side of Elgin.
Since then, St. Edward has made two trips to the IHSA state finals -- 2008 and 2011. The 2011 team finished in fourth place in Class 1A. Not surprisingly Brieger, a St. Edward graduate who played on the Wave's first boys soccer team in 1990, says those two accomplishments are high on his list of memories. As is the 1999 upset of Larkin in the postseason.
"There are just so many," Brieger said. "You just start laughing at the various odd memories."
Chelsea Gnan got St. Edward on its way to the 200th victory less than 12 minutes into the match against the Lions (2-1-3). Gnan took a pass from Meagan Kearney and fired a far-post shot past Harvest Christian goalkeeper Tori Nelson for a 1-0 lead with 8:14 remaining in the first half. Matches in the tournament were two 20-minute halves.
"(The 200 wins) is really good especially for the team. It helps us have a ton of confidence," said Gnan, a sophomore. "Hopefully we have a good season ahead of us."
Gnan added a second goal with 11:59 remaining in the match. Kearney scored with 7:06 remaining to complete the scoring.
Harvest Christian had only one shot on goal as St. Edward goalkeeper Paige Dykstra earned the shutout.
"I thought we held our own," Lions coach Basilio Salazar said. "We were back on our heels defensively, but I thought our kids did pretty good holding with them."
Nelson finished with 6 saves for the Lions.
The Green Wave (4-1-1) then secured the tournament championship with a 3-0 win over Westminster Christian. Rena Ranallo, Allison Kruk and Monica Ramirez had goals for St. Edward, with Corey Lepoudre, Casey Gredzielski and Kailey Durkin providing assists. Dykstra was again in goal but was not called on to make a save.