Mendoza, West Chicago finish when it counts
A pretty outlet pass had West Chicago senior Viri Mendoza looking at the Glenbard South net without a single defender in front of her Tuesday night. But before she could unleash a shot on Raiders goalkeeper Dana Jourdan, the weather conditions had her a little worried.
Mendoza was concerned about slipping on the rain-soaked turf, but as it turns out she and the Wildcats had nothing to worry about. Mendoza finished off the play with nice touch shot past Jourdan for what proved to be a big insurance goal. The score made it 3-1 Wildcats with 10:35 left to play and enabled the hosts to prevail 3-2 even after the Raiders' Stephanie Schmeider scored on a header with just over seven minutes left to play.
"I was a little bit nervous to tell you the truth," said Mendoza, whose second goal of the spring put her team ahead for good. "I was just hoping I'd make it so we'd get a bigger lead. I just took a shot. But I was hoping I wouldn't slip because it was really wet out there."
The late score enabled West Chicago to prevail and even its record this year at 7-7-2. The Wildcats had led 1-0 at the half on Andie Lazzerini's goal 7:46 into the game, but the Raiders (3-8-2) countered when Michaela Miglio scored a long goal just 46 seconds into the second half.
But Lazzerini's strong game also included a pair of assists, the first on a corner kick that was redirected home by freshman Ally Oglanian, and then one on her nice pass that set Mendoza off on a breakaway for the 3-1 lead.
"I was definitely glad we won," Mendoza said. "We needed a win."
Even though the Raiders came up short in the nonconference match, Schmeider was glad to see her team battle through the tough conditions even after falling behind by two scores.
"It was a really good feeling that we kept going and we didn't give up," the senior midfielder said. "I was glad that we kept working hard. Once they got that third goal it made it harder, but we kept pushing through it and we kept making passes."
Facing a 3-1 deficit, the Raiders made things interesting when Miglio's corner kick was first headed by Nicole Schutte and then headed home by Schmeider outside the reach of Wildcats freshman goalkeeper Gabby Navejas.
Glenbard South couldn't draw even, however, after closing the gap to 3-2 as the Wildcats defense limited their chances down the stretch. For the game West Chicago had 8 shots on goal compared to 4 for the Raiders.
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