After falling behind 3-1 in the first half, junior Lexi Pelafas led Wheaton North out of a 10-goal thriller with a 6-4 home girls soccer victory over Glenbard West on Wednesday.
Once senior defender HB Rowland hit a 30-yard shot over Glenbard West goalkeeper Megan Sheline to make the game 3-2, Pelafas ripped off four goals to give her team lead and ultimately the win.
"We've got a bunch of kids that can score goals," Falcons' coach Tim McEvilly said. "Lexi's going to demand attention, Monica Tyler's very fast, we've got other kids that can score as a result of what we can do dangerously… . I think we can score goals I didn't think we'd be giving up the goals we're giving."
In the first half the Hilltoppers came out quickly and found success through the attacking trio of senior Alex Levin, Alyssa Cantore and sophomore Mia Pagliuca.
In the 10th minue Cantore collected the ball on the right wing, drove to the end line and crossed to a wide-open Levin for the first goal.
Levin then returned the favor in the 15th, pouncing on a missed clearance and feeding Cantore, who ripped a shot that Falcons goalkeeper Sydney Partington couldn't parry wide enough to make it 2-0.
The third Hilltoppers (0-1) goal in the 18th minute was similar to the first, with Cantore once again driving up the wing and finding Pagliuca to make it 3-0.
Wheaton North (1-0-1) went into halftime down 3-1 thanks to a goal with 11 minutes left in the half by Kim Nguyen, but it wasn't McEvilly who started the halftime talk, it was Rowland.
"I just basically asked the team if we wanted to be here because I know we have a lot more potential than we were showing and obviously it did show in the end," Rowland said. "I was just trying to get the team to wake up."
After Rowland's shot in the first three minutes of the half, the Pelafas show got under way.
The junior forward, in her third year on varsity, scored in the 45th with a back-post header off a corner to tie the game and had the game-winner in the 65th minute after beating three players in the box to make it 4-3 Falcons.
"We started off the game well," Hilltoppers coach Maciej Kusmierz said. "We created chances, scored three goals then towards the end gave up an unnecessary goal up. We emphasized the fact of not giving up a goal in the first few minutes of the second half and unfortunately for us two high balls came in and cost us a couple goals."
Palifas then hit a beautiful strike from the top of the 18 with 13 minutes left and capped the night off with an impressive half volley from a corner kick in the 70th minute.
"I know that we needed goals," Palafas said, "I needed to step it up and lead the team on."