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updated: 3/24/2014 10:41 PM

Batavia can't dig out of early hole at Waubonsie

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By Chris Walker
Daily Herald Correspondent

Postgame team meetings only lasted a few minutes after Monday's Upstate Eight Conference girls soccer crossover between Batavia and Waubonsie Valley on the turf at Metea Valley in Aurora.

When it's 30 degrees and the teeth are chattering, kids, coaches and fans are going to do whatever they can to get home as soon as possible.

Waubonsie Valley coach Julie Bergstrom couldn't have had much to talk about anyway after the Warriors cruised to a 3-1 victory behind a pair of goals from Kristen Brots.

The Warriors did all their damage in the first half, building a 3-0 lead and allowing Bergstrom to substitute freely.

Waubonsie Valley (2-1-0) scored first at the 27:32 mark of the first half when Brots' shot caromed off the left post and trickled into the goal beyond the reach of Batavia freshman goalkeeper Jenny Scara.

"That was started with Jori (Romano) with a through ball," Brots said. "I just had to clean that up to give us the lead." Romano was add it again with 24:24 left in the first half, when she struck a free kick beautifully from 40 yards away. Morgan Kemmerling answered the free kick with a perfectly timed and aggressive header to make it 2-0.

"That was not marking up on a free kick," Batavia coach Mark Gianfrancesco said. "We let her run by and then it was a pretty good header right on frame."

The Warriors made it a 3-0 advantage with 17:58 left before halftime when Brots was able to pounce on an attempt from Mackenzie Fuller. She regained possession and tapped it past Scara.

"We stood and watched and you can't do that," Gianfrancesco said. "And those goals were all quick there in the first half and then suddenly boom, boom, boom, we're down."

Batavia (1-2-0) broke the shutout with 15:13 left in the second half when Tori Renfus successfully converted a penalty kick.

The Bulldogs had prior opportunities earlier, especially from Megan McEachern and Karina Rosales, but failed to deliver until Renfus made the most of her chance.

"We had a couple opportunities that we should've finished, but we turned the ball over or didn't even put it on frame," Gianfrancesco said. "We need to take advantage of those opportunities. Do that and you're in the game."

The season's still young though and both teams realize that a nonconference game in penguin-like conditions lacks major significance.

"We still just starting out and trying to figure out how to work best together and get ready for the rest of the season," Brots said. "We started connecting passes, which allowed us to get the ball into the back of the net, so we're starting to find success, which is good."

West Chicago 3, Bartlett 0: West Chicago girls soccer coach Cesar Gomez hopes his young team can gain some confidence early this season to go along with the talent.

Monday's 3-0 victory over Bartlett at the South Elgin Invitational at Millennium Field in Streamwood could be a good start.

"They're gaining trust with themselves," Gomez said. "We lack confidence. This game may do that for us."

The Wildcats (2-2) have only one senior and three juniors on their roster, which also includes 13 sophomores and a freshman. Eight sophomores started Monday.

West Chicago junior Kayla Kirkwood caused lots of trouble for Bartlett (1-1-1, 0-1 tournament) down the right side. She took a ball near midfield, raced down the right side and sent a cross to Katie Reitz, who finished from 6 yards out for a 1-0 lead with 8:35 remaining in the first half.

Early in the second half, Kirkwood again attacked down the right side. Her cross eventually came out to Alexa Vega at the top of the penalty area. Vega's left-footed shot beat Hawks goalkeeper Amanda Lozada, who finished with 5 saves, for a 2-0 West Chicago lead with 37:47 remaining.

Alli Oglanian added the Wildcats' third goal with 15:52 to go.

"When we score we should be OK. We're just impatient about scoring," Gomez said. "When we're patient about moving the ball and being patient about scoring, it's going to be fun."

The Wildcats finished pool play with a 1-1 record and will have to wait until Bartlett and Glenbard South play on Wednesday to know who they will play Thursday.

The Hawks didn't have a shot until there was less than 3 minutes remaining. Bartlett thought it had got a goal with 1:28 left from Jenna Noesen but the Hawks were called for offsides.

"They took us out of our game early," Bartlett coach Ben Beary said. "We were kind of on our heels trying to adjust all game long, trying to get the game back in our favor. They just never let up."

-- Brian Schaumburg

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