The play looked so effortless, but it was the product of time and effort.
Mackenzie Fuller scored two second-half goals a minute apart and Waubonsie Valley captured the Naperville Invitational girls soccer championship with a 2-1 victory against previously unbeaten New Trier on Saturday afternoon.
Contact information ( * required )
Fuller's first goal came off a perfectly placed pass from right back Tori Christiansen as Fuller was sprinting toward goal with a defender. The pass hit Fuller in stride about 7 yards from net, and her lone touch with the outside of her foot put it in the net. It was Christiansen's fifth assist of the season.
"It was awesome," said Fuller, a senior co-captain. "We've been practicing that and practicing that. Last year we had a lot of those opportunities, so we had to put that one away. It was nice. It got us the momentum in the second half, and we knew they were undefeated so we wanted to come out hard and get the first goal and obviously we did that. It was good."
A little more than a minute later the Warriors' Cici Gazder drew a penalty kick, and Fuller stepped up to take the PK. Her shot was perfect, giving the Warriors a 2-0 lead with 20 minutes to play.
"PKs are one of my specialties, so I wanted to put it away and put the game in hand," Fuller said of her ninth goal of the season. "But then they got that goal back, so we just wanted to keep the lead and not go into overtime."
New Trier (20-1) pressed the attack and cut the Warriors' lead in half in the 76th minute.
"We knew that they were going to come out even harder those last few minutes, so we just wanted to stay calm and composed and just play our game for those last few minutes," Fuller said.
"Once we got two goals the momentum came up and we picked up the intensity, it all started looking better and better," added senior co-captain Rachael Brots.
The Warriors (13-1-3) haven't lost a game since the season opener March 17 and have 8 shutouts.
"We work really well together as a team," Brots said. "We pass it around and are really focused. We played together well today."
"Everything is finally coming together and we're playing how we wanted to play since the beginning, so we have confidence now," Fuller added. "We're just playing our game and taking it to our opponents."
Follow Orrin on Twitter @Orrin_Schwarz