Geneva stays hot, blanks Bartlett
The Geneva girls soccer team kept its momentum going as the seventh-seeded Vikings took on No. 12 regional host Bartlett in the Class 3A semifinals on Tuesday night at Millennium Field.
The Vikings scored 3 goals in the first 10 minutes and cruised to a 5-0 victory over the Hawks (8-15).
Geneva has now won seven straight, including a 4-0 win over Bartlett last week, and improved to 13-8-1 overall after starting the season 6-8-1. The Vikings have outscored their opponents 36-0 over the streak.
"We're clicking," said Vikings' coach Megan Owens. "All the gears are firing for us offensively. We started the season a little slowly, but we're playing good soccer at the right time."
Senior Amanda Lulek scored the game's first goal less than two minutes into play off a breakaway, and senior Molly Axen made it 2-0 four minutes later. Sophomore Mary Landry scored off an assist from junior Courtney Lardas for the 3-0 advantage.
Lulek scored directly off a corner kick with 10:06 left before the break, and Landry headed in a Lulek corner kick seven minutes later to complete the scoring in the first half.
"That was good because we are usually a second half team," Landry said. "Today, we were clicking right away and stringing together passes."
Junior goalkeeper Samantha Hauser made 5 saves, two off of freshman Kaitlin Brohan shots, to preserve the Vikings 12th shutout of the season.
The Vikings will take on Tri-Cities rival St. Charles East in the regional title game on Saturday. The No. 2 seeded Saints defeated Larkin 12-0 in the earlier semifinal, and Geneva lost to the Saints 1-0 and 3-0 in the same week earlier in the season.
"Everybody is pumped for the regionals, and we're looking forward to playing East again," said Landry who added the two losses give the Vikings extra motivation.
The score could have gotten a lot worse is not for the play of Hawks' goalie Tessa Jatczak, a freshman playing in her first varsity game. Jatczak made 11 of her 14 saves in the second half, most of which came on stellar athletic stops.
"I could not have asked for anything better from her," said Hawks coach Heather Thomas. "She made some incredible saves for us."
Jatczak was filling in for the Hawks lone upperclassman on the team, junior Amanda Lozada who had a prior class commitment.
After starting the season 8-4, the Hawks lost their final 11 games.
However, Bartlett returned only five players from last season and was made of 12 sophomores and 7 freshmen along with Lozada.
"The experience they got this season is so valuable," Thomas said. "There is a lot of talent on the roster, and when they're juniors and seniors they're going to be tough to beat."
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