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.
Contact information ( * required )
"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."