Kara Jones was called upon to make stops during penalty kicks of the championship game of the girls soccer tournament Lakes was hosting Saturday afternoon.
And she answered that call in a most diverse fashion.
Contact information ( * required )
Jones made one stop to her right, then two more to her left -- and all three were key in Lakes' triumph.
After the game her teammates made a fitting call: letting Jones hold the tournament championship trophy.
Lakes recovered late to tie Vernon Hills near the end of regulation before topping the Cougars 2-1 (3-2 in penalty kicks).
Jones made the 3 stops in kicks to finish with 9 in the match.
"Those saves were huge," Jones said. "I've always been told when it's a shootout, your job is to only save one of them. I was able to save three, and that's unbelievable.
"I've always been taught to watch where they line up, and if they're right- or left-footed. You just go to the side that you think is their strongest. Usually, they will -- and if that fails, then you watch their eyes. If they are obvious, go to one side -- then you go to the other. A lot of it is pure luck."
There was also some skill at play for Lakes (9-3, 4-0 in the tournament). Trailing 1-0 late, the Eagles' Nicole D'Ambrose tied the game with her 11th goal of the season after taking a pass from Teresa Cipola down the left side.
"(Coach) Kullby was telling us to shoot, just shoot," D'Ambrose said. "I shot it and I was hoping it would go in. Fortunately, it did. There wasn't time left -- I had to give it my all to the end."
It's the first time Lakes has won its own tournament in recent years.
"It was good to come back in this one," Kullby said. "The wind was tough to go against in the second half. It gave Vernon Hills a lot of opportunities. But they're a good team. They were moving ball, and we were defending well too. We didn't give them anything too easy. Our team held up very well. If you keep yourself in the game good things can happen."
Vernon Hills (8-3-2, 3-1) got its goal from Alexis Harte off an end line pass from Amy Andrea in the 65th minute.
"I thought we played really well," Vernon Hills coach Vince DeLuca said. "Everything we did made me happy. We should bounce back from this."