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updated: 4/22/2014 9:29 PM

St. Edward trips up Wheaton Academy

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By Steve Nichols

As a prolific scoring threat, St. Edward's Allison Kruk knows she's a magnet for opposing defenders.

In some cases, Kruk can be limited to just one shot at best so she has to make due with whatever it is on her plate.

That was Tuesday's case in the Green Wave's 4-2 win over Wheaton Academy in Suburban Christian girls soccer action at Greg True Field in Elgin, and the Concordia University-bound forward made that one and only shot count 8 minutes into the second half.

Kruk received a feed down the left sideline and let it fly from 30 yards out, the ball sailing into the upper right of the cage to break a 2-2 tie. Chelsea Gnan's penalty kick with 28 minutes left gave St. Edward (8-2, 3-0) the pad it needed in its last SCC tilt with the Warriors (5-4-1, 2-1), but Kruk's goal was the difference-maker after a wild first half saw two lead changes and two ties.

"Someone chipped a perfect ball and I ran out to it and I saw a girl coming behind me and I was like 'shoot now or you're never going to score,' " said Kruk.

"You've got to take all the shots you have."

Kruk's score was the second of three straight unanswered goals by the Wave bridging the two halves. After Corey Lepoudre's corner kick put the Wave ahead 1-0 in the 8th minute, Wheaton Academy scored 40 seconds later on Rebecca Smith's pinball-like goal and the Warriors jumped ahead 2-1 in the 23rd minute when Gretchen Pearson, who assisted Smith's goal, found the back of the net on a ball sent from Abby Olson down the right sideline. Pearson booted it from the right of the box for a 2-1 lead but that was the last time the Warriors were in front.

Alex Zeller scored on a pass from Monica Ramirez 12 minutes before the half and St. Edward kept them coming against a team it had never defeated before.

"It's the last year of the conference," Lepoudre said. "I don't think we've beaten them, ever. That was a huge thing for us. Just dig deep the last time, for our seniors."

"We're either going to rise to the occasion or fall flat on our faces and if you want to achieve your goals you have to rise to the occasion," St. Edward coach Tim Brieger said. "I told them, 'be patient, you're in this game, it's 2-2, you're fine, you're fine.' I think it's a measure of this team. They have so much confidence in each other."

The shots were even at 10 and possession was about even as well. Paige Dykstra made 8 saves for the Wave. But even Warriors coach Dave Underwood will admit that once the Wave took away Pearson on the outside, it was hard for his team to attack.

"We felt like she was getting in at will around the corner there," he said. "She was just creating a lot of havoc but they made some good adjustments in the second half and we had a hard time finding her."

But Underwood went a little further: "Three out of (St. Edward's) four goals came when the game was stopped," Underwood said. "We're just making too many mistakes right now, too many mistakes. Defensively, it's really has been our strength. We've given up five goals in our first eight games and we've given up seven in the last two games. I don't know what's going on."

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