Second-half goals from Michelle Mottonen and Ashley McConnell followed a Caroline Wagner first-period strike to help fuel one of Fremd's best offensive efforts of the season in a 3-1 victory Tuesday night over Prospect at Hale Hildebrandt Field in Palatine.
"Except for an 8-goal game earlier in the season, this was the only time we've scored 3 goals, so this was a good night all the way around," said Fremd coach Steve Keller.
The victory starts a busy week of soccer for the Vikings (7-5-2, 4-3-1, 13 points) on a high note. Senior Katherine Ernst and backline mates Courtney Norenberg and Cassie Etelemaki kept the chances on Fremd keeper Christine Piasecki to just a few.
"We didn't play well in our loss to (Lyons Township) last weekend at the Naperville Invite, so we decided that the first half of our season was over, and tonight was the start of a new season, and one that we hope to be a successful one" said Ernst.
The Vikings enjoyed a significant portion of the play during the first 40 minutes, and McConnell's dominance at midfield allowed Mottonen and Katie Zara to target front-runners Mary-Kate Schiffer and Wagner , who helped keep the Knights under pressure in the first period.
"Fremd took control of the 50-50 balls from the onset, and that in turn allowed them to be on top of us for most of the night, and we just do what it takes in order to stop it," said disappointed Knights coach Tom Froats. "Their midfield did a very good job against us nearly the entire night, and we didn't get anyone really involved or interested in going box-to-box to help us push our attack and put some pressure on them."
The Knights (11-5-2, 4-4-1) conceded the first goal of the game at 13 minutes when Mottonen played a marvelous ball to the spot, allowing Wagner to one-time her shot past keeper Eileen McTigue, who had no chance to save.
Wagner had earlier dented the bar with a 22-yard salvo.
Prospect equalized in the 37th minute, with freshman Andi Marfilius running into the box to finish a Hannah Trezise serve. But it didn't take long for Fremd to grab the lead back for good.
Mottonen was rewarded for a clever diagonal run when she redirected her shot high into the far corner after Bri Frys, operating from the right side, put the senior clear.
McConnell delivered made it 3-1 in the 61st minute after Ernst's free kick to the back post spilled off McTigue and right to the right foot of McConnell, who drove her blast into the back of the net.
McTigue made a sensational point-blank save on Ernst in the 74th minute, and Piasecki stopped a free kick on frame from Emily Novak, the Knights' best chance of the half.
"There was some progress in all phases of our game tonight, but we still need to do the little things that will mean the difference heading into the state playoffs," said Keller, whose club hosts Rolling Meadows Wednesday night, while Prospect travels to MSL West-leading Barrington.