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updated: 4/10/2014 10:49 PM

Mudd gets her kicks as Libertyville ties Stevenson

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By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

For most soccer players, scoring on a bicycle kick is a dream come true.

Sydney Mudd of Libertyville wasn't all that far from making it happen on Thursday night.

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Mudd took her best shot at an athletic strike in the final minutes in an effort to net what would have been a game-winning goal. Her effort went over the crossbar by just a foot.

"It's ironic," said Mudd, "because we were talking about it the other day in practice -- 'Oh, I'm definitely going to score on a bicycle kick this year' -- in more of a joking manner. I just got the opportunity to try it.

"Honestly, you see the professionals do it and you think, 'Wow, it would be something fun to do.' It's not something that very many soccer players can accomplish in their careers."

Stevenson and Libertyville drew 1-1 in their North Suburban Lake Division match in Libertyville.

Mudd's bicycle kick came in the 75th minute. Julia Neiweem set it up with a free kick sent right into the heart of the box.

"I did try for it," Mudd said. "I ran in and realized the ball was going behind me. I just figured I might as well try it. That was the first bicycle kick that I've ever tried to do in a game.

"As a player, if you see the ball is behind you there's not much you can do. You'd rather get a foot on it, get something on it, than let the ball go through everyone and have it go out on the other side."

Mia Hollingsworth scored her fourth goal in four games off an assist from Jessica Van Roeyen in the 25th minute for a 1-0 Wildcats lead.

Libertyville (1-2-1, 0-1-1) was coming off a 1-0 loss to Lake Forest on Tuesday but came out with a strong effort against Stevenson (1-3-1, 0-0-1). A couple of shots were stopped by the crossbar, another by the post.

"I thought we dominated and should've won," Libertyville coach Andy Bitta said. "It was one of those games. We had all the chances we needed -- we just needed to finish.

"We did everything a coach wants his team to do, except to put the ball into the back of the net. Credit Stevenson for playing hard. It was a typical Libertyville-Stevenson battle."

The Patriots tied the game in the 47th minute as Megan Petrick finished a cross from Blake Klinsky.

"It was an awesome cross," Petrick said. "We've played together for a long time, going back a lot of years. We do have a lot of chemistry out there."

Stevenson entered the match battling numerous injuries. The Patriots had four players out to start the game and loss two more against the Wildcats. Stevenson keeper Sophia Godoy had a great effort in goal and made 10 stops.

"As depleted as we are to have the subs come in off the bench, to see how well they played, it's a good sign for the future," Stevenson coach Kevin Heffernan said. "We told our girls to play higher in the midfield (in the second half). It put more pressure on (Libertyville) and we could attack more quickly, instead of laying back and building. We just played a little more direct."

Both teams will take part in the 32-team PepsiCo Tournament at Olympic Park in Schaumburg starting Saturday. Libertyville plays Evanston at 2:30 p.m., while Stevenson takes on Glenbrook South at 4 p.m.

Lake Zurich meets Oswego and Warren goes against Wheaton Warrenville South, with both games slated for 2:30 p.m.

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