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updated: 5/9/2013 8:48 PM

A 'Mudd' goal wins it for Libertyville

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By Mike Garofola
Daily Herald Correspondent

Sydney Mudd's 68th minute strike canceled out a Dani Blanchard equalizer moments earlier to give host Libertyville the lead for good in an eventual 2-1 victory Thursday afternoon over Jacobs in the rain at the Soccer Complex in Libertyville.

The Wildcats' nonconference win in their regular-season finale moved Scott Schinto's club to 11-5-1 overall as it now readies itself for a regional opener with NSC rival Mundelein next week.

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"It's good to finish up with a win, and even better to get everyone into the game and valuable minutes in advance of the regionals," said Schinto.

The home side had some trouble in the early exchanges with the visiting Golden Eagles (6-11-1) and in particular, Kylie Dennison, Rachael Romano and Amy Rigby who played quick and fast on the wet pitch, to put the Wildcats under pressure during the first 10 minutes of play.

"I thought we came out really well, especially after the long bus ride over, and a (Thor-guard) delay, but it didn't last long, and the game became more even after that strong start as we struggled to possess and keep the ball," offered Jacobs head coach AJ Cappello.

A nicely played tackle by Cassie Melic on Mudd, who ran onto an early ball from Emily Boyd, prevented the junior from getting in on Jacobs keeper Klarissa Karmis at 19 minutes, and later it was Dennison who had a go at Elaine Sundberg saves from near the edge.

A ragged start to the second period would finally pickup after a flurry of activity from both clubs, including some nice combination work from Bailey Adams and Dennison, which resulted in Alyssa Sandblom's little half volley veering left of the post.

Dennison would crush the bar with a right-footed blast which went straight down, but just away from the endline in the 51st minute, but that bit of bad luck would be it for the visitor's attack, until Blanchard would level with a header off a corner from Margaret Rivera.

"We kind of lost our focus after that good start, and we got a little careless in our end, which came back to be the difference today," suggested Dennison, who wears the captain's armband along with Rivera for Cappello.

More bad luck would strike the Golden Eagles when Katie McAuliffe, the 'Cats leading scorer, drove a low shot on frame, only to see it redirected by a Jacobs defender and past a helpless Karmis for an own goal in the 56th minute.

Mudd would tee up her long-range shot before driving a wicked strike into the back of the net less than 60 seconds after the Blanchard goal, then keep everything in front of them for the final 10 minutes to earn the win.

"We've had some injuries to deal with, but I think we've handled them pretty well, now we'll see how things go next week in the playoffs," said Schinto.

The Golden Eagles will finish up a match with Fox Valley Conference rival Crystal Lake South, which was halted due to weather just a half-hour in, then end their regular season at Rockton Hononegah.

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