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updated: 4/22/2014 11:44 PM

St. Charles North scores late to tie St. Charles East

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  • St. Charles East's Mallory Mollenhauer, left, and St. Charles North's Sophie Pohl fight for the ball in the first half on Tuesday.

       St. Charles East's Mallory Mollenhauer, left, and St. Charles North's Sophie Pohl fight for the ball in the first half on Tuesday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East teammates swarm together after scoring a goal over St. Charles North in the first half on Tuesday, April 22.

       St. Charles East teammates swarm together after scoring a goal over St. Charles North in the first half on Tuesday, April 22.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East's Darcy Cunningham, center, wraps her arm around teammate Julia Peterson as she celebrates scoring a goal in the first half on Tuesday, April 22.

       St. Charles East's Darcy Cunningham, center, wraps her arm around teammate Julia Peterson as she celebrates scoring a goal in the first half on Tuesday, April 22.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's Danielle Noverini trails St. Charles East's Amanda Hilton as she maneuvers down the field in the first half on Tuesday, April 22.

       St. Charles North's Danielle Noverini trails St. Charles East's Amanda Hilton as she maneuvers down the field in the first half on Tuesday, April 22.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's Jenny Barr, left, trails St. Charles East's Sophie Jendrzeczyk as she gains control of the ball in the first half on Tuesday, April 22.

       St. Charles North's Jenny Barr, left, trails St. Charles East's Sophie Jendrzeczyk as she gains control of the ball in the first half on Tuesday, April 22.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East's Sophie Jendrzeczyk on Tuesday, April 22.

       St. Charles East's Sophie Jendrzeczyk on Tuesday, April 22.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East's Darcy Cunningham, left, and St. Charles North's Megan O'Leary fight for the ball in the first half on Tuesday, April 22.

       St. Charles East's Darcy Cunningham, left, and St. Charles North's Megan O'Leary fight for the ball in the first half on Tuesday, April 22.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
By Darryl Mellema
Daily Herald Correspondent

While soccer ties leave both teams level on the scoreboard and with the same half-win and half-loss in the standings, the emotions of such a match can be different depending how a match plays out.

For example, St. Charles East dominated for large stretches of Tuesday's Upstate Eight Conference River Division match with crosstown rival St. Charles North. The Saints took the lead thanks to a Darcy Cunningham goal -- yet walked off North's field disappointed when Sophie Pohl equalized with 3 minutes to play.

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"It definitely feels like a loss," St. Charles East senior Corirossi said. "One shot. We know we dominated and there's nothing we can do without it now."

But St. Charles North (8-2-1, 3-0-1) conjured a tie when a loss seemed possible.

"It wasn't our best 80 minutes," St. Charles North coach Ruth Vostal said. "But I told them the fight and the hard work paid off."

When St. Charles East (8-1-3, 3-0-1) defeated Batavia on Saturday, central midfielders Corirossi and Amanda Hilton were dominant. Tuesday, the pair controlled play even more. Corirossi, in particular, had an abundance of touches through the match.

"That was both of their best matches in a Saints shirt," St. Charles East coach Paul Jennison said. "No doubt about it. They rose to the occasion."

The tandem, both seniors, have formed an anchor in the Saints midfield since both were sophomores. The partnership has improved over time, however, with their passing range and ability to link play and form a screen in front of the defense.

"We've been playing together forever," Corirossi said. "This is our last season together. The middle is the powerhouse of the whole game. That's our job, to dominate it, to distribute it and to play it out wide."

The Saints took the lead with 8:36 left in the first half. Shannon Rasmussen played the ball from midfield toward Julia Peterson on the left wing. Peterson sent the ball into the center of the penalty area and Cunningham scored from inside the 6-yard box.

Shortly after, Hilton passed to Rasmussen, who had a shot deflected wide of goal. In the final minute of play of the first half, both teams had chances. First Ashlyn Walter missed from close range for St. Charles North. Then the Saints swept upfield and Kelli Santo Paolo forced North Stars keeper Shelby Stitz to push the ball over the goal.

On a night when few things fell offensively for the North Stars, Walter seemed at the heart of much of it.

"I thought she worked really hard, but our timing overall was off," Vostal said.

Stitz left the field eight minutes into the second half with an ankle injury after a Saints player bumped a North Stars player into St. Charles North's keeper. Alexa Lievrouw finished the match in goal and was far busier for most of that time than Saints keeper Kendra Sheehan.

Lievrouw saved from a long-range Cunningham shot 17 minutes into the half and she watched a Hilton shot fly wide 5 minutes before the final whistle.

The North Stars began to string some passes together, with Alyssa Brandt working in many of those combinations.

"It's always a battle with the crosstown classic and the Tri-Cities schools," Brandt said. "But you bring that fight and hopefully, you'll get results. Luckily, we were able to get one in the back of the net to prevent that loss."

That breakthrough came when Pohl received the ball unmarked 25 yards from goal. The senior launched a curling effort that flew under the crossbar near the right post to tie the match.

"Unfortunately, we didn't kill them off, and fair play to North," Jennison said. "The one thing you know they're never going to do is they're never going to give up. We had chances to capitalize and didn't do it."

The North Stars, who always use the word "fight" to describe their approach to a match, found a way to grind out the result.

"You get a little more 'let's go, let's go, let's go,'" Brandt said. "It gets a little more frenzied, and it's that frenzied play that can help you find a way to score, and that's what happened tonight."

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