Big moment for Sizelove, Grayslake Central
Anna Sizelove was taking her spot on the post, defending for Grayslake Central but not knowing what was going to happen next.
Sizelove was well aware of her assignment, though, and stopped Grayslake North's potential game-tying goal in the final 20 seconds from a corner kick on a direct shot right at her.
That sequence helped Grayslake Central hold off host Grayslake North 2-1 in a Fox Valley Fox Division match on Wednesday evening.
"I just saw it coming to me and I was holding onto the post like I was supposed to do," Sizelove said. "Then I was able to clear it when I saw it. It was the first time I've had that happen."
Just a few minutes earlier, Rams keeper Kajal Chokshi (8 saves) stopped a point-blank shot to deny the Knights another opportunity to pull even.
"Give credit to them for being at the right places at the right time," Grayslake Central coach Mike McCaulou said. "It was a real frustrating second-half performance for us. Give Grayslake North credit, they showed more heart and character. We sat back on our heels with a 2-goal lead. It's the most dangerous score in soccer. We probably should've had more goals, and maybe we got complacent. We need to get back into a rhythm."
Grayslake Central (9-3-2, 4-0) sits atop the Fox with games remaining at Hampshire on Thursday and against visiting Crystal Lake Central at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The Rams are 1 game ahead of Johnsburg in the loss column and can get their third straight Fox title with at least one victory in their next two games.
"It's all game by game right now," McCaulou said. "It's our goal to get three in a row."
Grayslake Central scored twice in the first half on Wednesday. Sizelove netted a penalty kick in the 13th minute and Kayley Larson scored the other goal in the 39th minute.
The Rams' Savannah Mudd was a big part of the defense that stopped a key breakaway several minutes before the second goal.
"I think I got a little bit lucky, but I believe that I play disciplined defense," Mudd said. "I just got back and got the ball. I just try to do my best on defense."
Others helping out defensively for the Rams included Sizelove, Lauren Spalding and Rebecca Wollmuth.
Grayslake North (7-7-1, 4-2) gave its best effort in the second half. Maggie Fish scored the Knights' goal in the 59th minute off an initial free kick from Kayley Hartigan.
"It was a good fight in both directions," Grayslake North coach Adam DeCaluwe said. "We did what we expected to do. We were good enough to do it, but we didn't come out in the first half.
"In the second half, we showed what we're all about. It's a matter of playing 80 minutes. We're young and we're learning about the 80 minutes. They've been trying to get it together over the last couple of weeks. It's a young group of girls, and it's the first time for many of them playing their intra-city rival. It might have been too much for them in the beginning."
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