Welcome back, Zoe Swift.
The Naperville North senior scored twice and added 3 assists in her return to action on Tuesday night, leading the Huskies to a 5-1 victory over Metea Valley in Aurora.
Swift, who had been sidelined with a sprained ankle, showed no signs of rust after missing the first eight games of the season.
"Obviously, getting Zoe back changed the game a bit," Naperville North coach Steve Goletz said. "Two goals and three assists as a debut is pretty impressive, and we know what kind of player she is. She did a great job not only creating scoring opportunities for herself, but for others."
Swift, who scored 25 goals and had 5 assists last season, assisted on a Christa Szalach goal with 15:21 left in the first half.
"The defender took a touch and luckily it came to me," Szalach said. "To be honest I was just trying to get it on frame and it worked out."
Metea Valley (6-4) had played pretty well leading up to the goal, but its own missed opportunities proved to be too difficult to overcome.
"I thought for the first 25-30 minutes of the game we actually had the better play against them but just didn't take advantage of opportunities," Mustangs coach Pat Feulner said. "We could've easily had a couple of goals in the first 20 minutes and been ahead, but instead we don't, we get down and we're chasing."
Naperville North (8-0-2) took a 2-0 lead with 4:09 left before half when Szalach stole a goal kick and lofted a high arching ball that Swift sped to and then found the net with a header.
"It was real awkward, but it was OK," Swift said. "It went in."
Goletz was impressed with Szalach's play all contest.
"I though Christa, hands down, had her best game and she's played some great games this year," he said. "She was all over the place and it was nice for her to get rewarded with two great goals. It's definitely something she's deserved this year."
Szalach broke the game open as the Huskies displayed great ball movement, sending the ball from Abbie Boswell to Swift before Szalach delivered a low liner into the net with 25:56 left.
Boswell, who has been the team's leading scorer with Swift out, made it 4-0 with a breakaway with 12:22 on the clock.
"We played great even when I wasn't playing and that's fantastic," Swift said. "I'm glad to be back and to help contribute again."
Swift scored 16 seconds after Boswell to make it 5-0, but the Mustangs avoided the shutout as Jenna Kentgen scored on a penalty kick with 8:17 remaining.
"I still thought at halftime that we were playing well enough to get back in the game," Feulner said. "They're tough and we had a couple of kids that we were trying in some spots tonight and it probably wasn't the time to try because it didn't work out so well for us."