Staying alive in the North Suburban Lake girls soccer race was Lake Zurich’s focus.
And the Bears made dead certain they’d remain in the hunt for a league title by gaining new life in a dramatic second-half flurry.
In a span of one minute, Lake Zurich scored both its goals to get past host Mundelein 2-1 in NSC Lake action Tuesday.
Meaghan Gelinas scored one of the goals and assisted on Jordan Jackson’s game-winner.
“We were kind of lucky to come out on top,” Lake Zurich coach Michael Castronova said. “This was a long time coming. The last couple of games we’ve had a lot of chances. It was nice to get two quick goals. We’ve been working on our offense in the final third and it finally paid off.”
The Bears (6-6-2, 3-1) have been going through a rough stretch of games in which they were 0-4-1 in their last 5. Part of that is due to the quality of play Lake Zurich was getting in the highly competitive Naperville Invitational.
“Some of the those games, we played well,” Castronova said. “We just couldn’t score. We were playing some great teams and that’s what we wanted to do. It prepares us for games like these that are conference games. It was great to finally get the win.”
Lake Zurich has two remaining games in the Lake — Lake Forest (2-0-3) pays a visit at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, and the Bears have a game against Libertyville later this week.
Stevenson is still in the running for a Lake Division title, having already finished with a record of 3-1-2. The loss to LZ ended the divisional title hopes for Mundelein (8-3-3, 2-2-2).
“We at least had at least chance to take the conference,” Mundelein coach Ernie Billittier said. “It was a hope, we knew that we needed to get a win. It’s a bit frustrating, because we had late leads against Stevenson and a lead over Lake Zurich (Tuesday).
“As a team, we have to improve in managing the game. This definitely was a tough one to take. The game was evenly played throughout.”
Mundelein’s Kaila Cancelli took advantage of a loose ball and scored for a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute.
Galinas found a loose ball of her own for the Bears in the 58th minute to tie it at 1-1.
Then just a minute later, Galinas fed a touch pass to Jackson, who made a run down the left side of the penalty area and scored the winner.
“Second half, we came out with more intensity,” Galinas said. “Once (Mundelein) scored it made us work that much harder. Our goal is to win the conference and we just pushed through it.
“Jordan Jackson scored the goal, it was one of her best games. She worked her heart out to get it.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.