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updated: 4/2/2014 10:09 PM

Huntley dominates Larkin

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By Dave Hess
Daily Herald Correspondent

Outshooting Larkin 31-0, Huntley was able to overpower the Royals 7-0 in opening round play of the Huntley girls soccer invitational Wednesday night.

The Royals (0-2), behind stellar goal keeping by Alejandra Villagomez, stayed in the game early.

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"We played very good compact defense in the first part of the first half," said Larkin coach Ken Hall. "Alejandra was outstanding. It was an encouraging sign. We are a very young inexperienced team. We held our own against an excellent Huntley team."

With 12 saves, Villagomez kept the Red Raiders off the scoreboard for nearly 21 minutes before Rachel Zobott scored off a perfect pass from Beth Parks with 19:23 remaining before halftime.

The Red Raiders scored twice more before halftime as Taryn Jakubowski and Parks were able to push shots past Villagomez (19 saves) to lead 3-0 after 40 minutes.

"We came out flat and without any energy," said Huntley coach Kris Grabner. "Our shot selection wasn't very good. But give their keeper credit. I was impressed with the way she played. If you didn't get a great shot on goal she made the save."

The Red Raiders' (4-1) offensive barrage continued in the second half with 4 unanswered goals.

Zobott, Jakubowski, Abigail Nordeen and Alyssa Kaufman all found the net for the Raiders in the second half.

"We got off to a very slow start and we weren't connecting as a team," said Zobott. "Once we got going we got good shots on goal and we were working very well together. We were connecting as a team and scoring goals. We have a lot of players who can score."

Despite a good record to begin the 2014 campaign, Grabner realizes his team has a long ways to go to achieve its lofty goals.

'We have been and up and down as a team early in the season," he said. "We need to put together a full 80 minutes and we have done that only in the Hersey game, our best game of the year. We need to do a better job of putting the ball in the net and we need better shot selection throughout the whole game. We certainly need to ramp it The Red up as a team. There is a lot of room for improvement."

The Red Raiders will play at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday in the semifinals against the winner of Friday's game between Harlem and Montini. Larkin plays the loser of the Harlem-Montini game at 10 a.m.

The championship game is set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Burlington Central 2, Rockford Christian 2: In the Big Northern East, Cali Andrew scored both goals for Burlington Central (1-0-1, 0-0-1). Ashley Ahrens and Ellen Jayne each had an assist and Cassie Ciganek made 5 saves in goal.

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