After starting the 2014 season with a 1-0 loss to Palatine, Huntley girls soccer coach Kris Grabner was looking for improvement in Friday afternoon's second game of the campaign against Hersey.
The Red Raiders' veteran coach got what he was looking for.
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With sophomore midfielder Taryn Jakubowski providing the offensive fireworks with 2 goals, the Red Raiders evened their record at 1-1 with a 2-0 nonconference win over the visiting Huskies in a game played at Huntley Stadium.
"I wasn't dis pleased with the way we played against Palatine, but we played a full 80 minutes today and we attacked and possessed the ball much better," said Grabner. "We didn't have a lot of shots, but we created a lot of good scoring opportunities."
Off a perfect pass from Abigail Nordeen, Jakubowski blasted a shot past Hersey goalie Morgan Harris with 15:02 left in the first half to get the Red Raiders on the scoreboard.
Jakubowski's second goal came on a penalty kick with 11:54 left in the game.
"On the first goal I was just fighting for space and got a great pass from Abby," said Jakubowski. "On the penalty kick it was just a matter of concentration. We had better team chemistry and possessed the ball better today."
Grabner appreciates the attributes Jakubowski brings to the team.
"Taryn is very sneaky and quick." Said the Huntley coach. "She is hard to defend and she can get behind a defense."
Hersey (4-1), which outshot the Red Raiders 8-6, had some good chances to score.
With 4:55 left in the first half, senior midfielder Lauren Gierman got behind the Huntley defense and blasted a close-in shot on goalie Jessica Galason, but the senior made the save.
With 38 seconds left in the first half, Hersey's Annie Korff had an uncontested header, but the ball sailed over the net.
Galason had 5 saves for the Red Raiders compared to 3 for Hersey's Harris.
"We are still looking for our identity," said Hersey coach Darren Llewellyn. "Once we gain our identity we should be a good team. We have too many kids who want to facilitate rather than shoot the ball. We need to find a way to shoot the ball more. We had some chances but we need to convert. Huntley is a very strong team and they limited our chances."