Cary-Grove girls soccer coach Ray Krystal could finally crack a smile.
After starting Fox Valley Conference Valley Division play with an 0-3 record, the Trojans came with a huge effort in knocking off powerful Huntley 2-1 at Cary-Grove's Al Bohrer Field Thursday night.
"You know you have to play your best to beat a very good team like Huntley," said Krystal. "We gave great effort, made things happen early and came up with a good result tonight."
The Trojans (7-6-1, 1-3) were the aggressors early. Emerging from in front of the Huntley net, Katie Conner was able to blast a shot past Red Raider goalie Jessica Galason to give Cary-Grove an early 1-0 cushion with only 6:38 elapsed in the match. That was the score at halftime.
Cary-Grove, which outshot the Raiders (10-5, 1-1) 7-5, grabbed a 2-0 advantage when sophomore forward Genna Sobieszczyk tallied a goal 33:45 left in the game.
The Red Raiders weren't about to throw in the towel.
Off a perfect lead pass from Beth Parks, sophomore midfielder Taryn Jakubowski got behind the Trojan defense and blasted a shot by Cary-Grove freshman goalie Morgan Olson to cut the Trojans' advantage to 2-1 with 19:42 remaining in the contest.
Huntley peppered Olson with 2 shots in the last minute, but the young goalie kept the ball out of the net as the Trojans held on for the win.
"It was a very exciting game," said Sobieszczyk. "My goal was a little lucky. But I will take it. It was very important for us to take the lead early. It gave us a lot of confidence and we played with a positive attitude. After the first goal we played even harder because we knew how good Huntley is."
Galason, who will play at Illinois State University next season, and Olson registered 3 saves each in the game.
"We gifted two goals to them and they accepted them," said Huntley coach Kris Grabner. "Our defense was really shoddy and we mishandled the ball and it cost us twice. At halftime we changed our game plan and had more of a playoff mentality. We kept a lot of key players on the field longer and got many more scoring opportunities in the second half. This league doesn't get the respect they deserve. Anybody can beat anybody on a given night."