Team chemistry and communication are a big part of the success Lake Zurich's girls soccer team has had this spring. Clearly, it's one reason the Bears are one of the leaders in the North Suburban Lake Division.
Danielle Ufheil, one of the Bears' midfielders, says she has a sense, a kind of field vision for knowing where her teammates are supposed to be. But it comes down to the communication, however it works.
"Others call for it, and I get it to them," Ufheil said. "They shout for it. If you don't call for it, then you can't see it come your way.
"We're looking to make those runs to begin with -- then you can make that through ball. With practicing together and getting to know each other, our chemistry has been getting better."
Lake Zurich scored a pair of second-half goals to get past visiting Libertyville 2-0 on Tuesday night. The Bears improved to 9-2 overall and 3-0 in the NSC Lake, while Libertyville slipped to 3-5-1, 0-2-1.
Ufheil set up the game-winning goal with a through ball in the 57th minute. She hooked up with Nicole Rasiarmos, who scored her third goal of the season.
"I've played with Nicole for a couple of years now," Ufheil said. "I guess we do know each other's runs."
Lake Zurich added another goal for insurance off a set piece in the 72nd minute. Rasiarmos started it with short pass off a corner kick, then, Carolyn Radecki fired a low cross before Meaghan Gelinas scored on a header.
The Bears changed things up a bit in the second half to create opportunities.
"We wanted to create the space," Lake Zurich coach Michael Castronova said. "Ideally, with our formation, we wanted more movement. The biggest thing we wanted was for them to move off the ball. I thought (Libertyville) changed some things, too. We just wanted to finish our chances.
"We know that Libertyville was a good team, and a well-coached team. They have a number of players that are really good. But we came out and played well. It was closer than we would've liked. We were able to figure it out."
Lake Zurich keeper Eleanor Daleske recorded her seventh clean sheet of the season. She had help in back defensively from Meagen Bens, Blair Coughenour, Kaitlyn McCurley and Maggie Tuckey.
Libertyville has been close in most of its games this season, but have been missing that one goal that might change a game around.
"I thought we played very well," said Libertyville coach Andy Bitta, "until (Lake Zurich) scored the goal. Then we changed our formation, pushing up three players up top and three in the back.
"The first goal kind of hurt us -- it changed the whole complexion of the game. I thought (Lake Zurich) was more aggressive, hitting the open man with the ball . . . They're a very good team and very a very skillful team."