Most high school soccer teams feel lucky if they have one reliable scorer. Naperville North has two.
With all-state senior and youth national team player Zoe Swift still working into shape following an ankle injury, the Huskies relied on sophomore Abbie Boswell again, and Boswell responded with her second hat trick of the season in a 4-2 victory against a stubborn Geneva team. Swift assisted on two of Boswell's goals and would have had one of her own but for a great save by Geneva goalkeeper Samantha Hauser.
"We're really, really lucky to have both Zoe and Bos up top," said Huskies senior Emily Bromagen. "They're just amazing. They work so hard up top and they're just amazing. I'm glad they're on my team."
"If we can hang on long enough and defend and get stuff organized, I like my chances against anybody in terms of those two," Huskies coach Steve Goletz added. "We're very lucky to have them and they've been very good, and our supporting cast has allowed them to stay forward as much as possible and take as many chances as possible. You saw that again tonight."
The victory puts defending Class 3A champion Naperville North (10-0-2) into the Naperville Invitational semifinals at 7 p.m. today against Neuqua Valley at Naperville Central. The Huskies have never won the tournament.
The Huskies dominated the first half, with Boswell scoring her first goal on a 19th-minute header. She made it 2-0 in the 25th minute, and Bromagen added the Huskies' third goal in the 31st on a 28-yard blast, a reward for her hard work defensively.
"I'm a defensive mid and I don't get to score very often, so it's very exciting," Bromagen said.
"(Bromagen) is a girl that keeps us together," Goletz said. "We're allowed to do a lot of things on the field because Emily covers so much ground. She's that true defensive midfielder that doesn't get a lot of accolades, doesn't get a lot of goals and assists but is so vital to how we play and goes out and plays her heart out every game and makes it so hard for their attacking mid."
Geneva (6-8-1) made it exciting in the second half, pulling within a goal. Amanda Lulek scored in the 53rd minute after stealing the ball from a Huskies defender and going in on a breakaway. Ten minutes later Mary Landry took advantage of a poor clearance to make the score 3-2.
"I think first half we were a little intimidated, and second half -- we talked about it at halftime -- we showed up and played our game," Geneva coach Megan Owens said. "... We're the first game they've had this season where they allowed more than one goal. To be the first team to score two goals on them in a game, the kids are proud of that. They worked really hard and really took it to them the second half. It was a great experience. That's why you play high school soccer. It was an opportunity for us to come out and show what you're made of."
But Naperville North showed what it's made of also, responding with Boswell's third goal of the game and 18th of the season in the 68th minute.
"We responded really well when (Boswell) came back and scored the next goal," Bromagen said.
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