A couple weeks ago Neuqua Valley looked vulnerable in a 3-0 loss to Waubonsie Valley.
The Wildcats haven't shown any weaknesses since.
Contact information ( * required )
Neuqua Valley shut out Hinsdale Central 4-0 on Thursday night at Naperville Central in a quarterfinal of the 16th annual Naperville Invitational.
The Wildcats advance to the second of Friday's two semifinals at Naperville Central, where they will meet Naperville North at 7 p.m.
The victory was the fifth straight for the Wildcats. All five have been shutouts, and the Wildcats have outscored opponents 21-0 during the winning streak.
"We watched the tape on the game (against Waubonsie Valley) and we were letting them run all over us," Neuqua Valley coach Joe Moreau said. "We've been focusing on defense and defense won this game tonight. It wasn't necessarily the back four, but defense all over the field."
Hope D'Addario kept attacking in the first half and it ultimately paid off when she sneaked a shot past Hinsdale Central goalkeeper Riley Glenn with just 4:21 left before halftime.
D'Addario had just misfired wide left 40 seconds earlier. Prior to that, with 12:42 left before halftime, she sent a shot just inches too high, caroming off the crossbar.
"Our coaches tell us to get shots up because it's the only way you're going to score," D'Addario said. "Talise (Romain) sent an amazing ball and I knew that I had enough momentum that I only needed to get any body part on it. I got it off my thigh on a dead sprint and was happy to see it go in."
Neuqua Valley (10-2-1) didn't give itself any cushion until D'Addario found Gianna Dal Pozzo with 17:24 remaining to make it 2-0. That seemed to bury the Red Devils as the Wildcats doubled their lead to 4-0 thanks to a Kiley Czerwinski cross to Sabrina Georgeff with 14:28 left and then a Shannon Donlon goal with 4:26 remaining.
"This is a very good Hinsdale Central team so the girls did what they needed to do," Moreau said. "If you look at our goals they started with counterattacks and winning balls and coming back down."
Hinsdale Central, which beat Waubonsie Valley and Fremd earlier this season, dropped to 8-2-2.
The Wildcats now turn their attention to their nemesis, Naperville North. The Huskies beat them three times last year and in 2011 they handed them their only loss of the season -- a 1-0 stunner in a sectional championship.
"We're very excited," D'Addario said. "It's going to be a good game and we're going to be ready for it."