South Elgin's Savanah Uveges is Nebraska-bound in a couple of months.
But before shes leaves the state of Illinois on scholarship, she's determined to see the Storm's girls soccer team make a few celebratory pit-stops in this year's IHSA playoffs.
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The Storm showed the severity in which they want to do so in their 4-1 nonconference win over Hoffman Estates at Millennium Field in Streamwood Thursday,
Bursting out of the gate in their first match of the season, the Storm saw Uveges notch a hat trick, while her teammates from the basketball team's regional championship team, Delaney Kelleher and Anna Tracy, significantly contributed. South Elgin dominated possession and was relentless in attack, using a 17-9 shot advantage over the Hawks.
"I just have such high expectations for our team because we are so talented it's incredible and everyone wants it so bad, and there's just passion in every single player out there," Uveges said. "I was really impressed how it ended up. Once we settled down we ended up being amazing so I'm really looking forward to the rest of this season."
The Storm received a solid defensive effort as well, but Uveges started the scoring off in the 8th minute and muscled her way to break a 1-1 tie and give the Storm the lead for good 25 minutes in.
Kelleher put South Elgin up 3-1 a minute later on a feed from Tracy and Uveges scored 18 minutes into the second half on a breakaway. But goal No. 2 on the night was the most impressive, as she fought off a number of Hawks in the box, even one defender draped all over her right shoulder 6 yards from the cage as she tapped it in.
"It was a little crazy because I was kind of expecting a foul but it's harder to get the fouls in the box so it was a battle-battle," Uveges said. "And at one point I'm like, 'I'm done with this.' "
South Elgin had not been outdoors all season and head coach Tiffany Disher was pleased with how the team responded, especially since they were trapped in a gym for several weeks.
"We haven't practiced out here, we haven't done anything out here ... no working on our defense or any of the things that we would do in the magnitude that we would love," Disher said. 'It was wonderful to pull the girls off, talk to them, put them back on and they would do exactly what we talked about."
Hoffman knotted things at 1 with 24 minutes left in the first half on a goal from Michelle Montes De Oca, delivered from Natalie Nagrant, but the Hawks couldn't pull it together or grab control of possession. Hoffman was without head coach Ralph Tooren, absent for unspecified reasons. Assistant coach Steve Kern filled in.
"It's going to be a long season learning, we're looking forward to it and we learned some lessons today," Kern said. "We're down some numbers, we're filling in the best we can and they're a good team."