Visiting Prospect quickly put an end to senior night fesitivies at Rolling Meadows on Wednesday night, scoring 3 goals in the first quarter-hour en route to a 5-0 victory in a Mid-Suburban East matchp at Robert Hoese Field.
"It was one of those nights when we conceded 2 early goals, and almost immediately lost our focus and purpose, and after that it just kind of went downhill for the rest of the first half," said Mustangs coach Mike Drenth, whose young club is now 3-7-0 in the league.
Prospect, meanwhile, was pleased to see thing go its way -- again.
"It's good to see our club continue to improve on both sides of the ball, and especially in our attack, which has been coming along of late and will be key when the postseason begins in two weeks," said Prospect coach Tom Froats, who has seen his team go 10-4-1 following a heart-breaking 1-0 loss at Buffalo Grove nearly a month ago.
The Knights' first goal of the match was extraordinary in its simplicity, with Kim Welk finishing a perfect inward swinging corner from Emily Novak at four minutes.
Novak doubled the visitors' advantage in the 10th minute when she settled the ball onto her left boot and unloaded a 25-yard blast.
"Back when we were playing Buffalo Grove, I was in more of a defensive midfield position, but since then, I've moved up to be an attacking midfielder-forward, and it's a spot where I feel I can contribute more to our team," said Novak.
Prospect (11-8-1, 5-5-0) continued to have more of the possession, most of it in the Mustangs' end, and it wasn't long before things went from bad to worse for the hosts as Trish Benson teed up a 25-yarder which sailed past Kelsey Nallon.
The freshman keeper turned away a quality chance from Welk just moments after the Benson goal in the 15th minute, but at 21 minutes, she was unable to do anything when Novak put Alyson Kobler through.
A rough opening first period came to an end when Rosie Pettenuzzo slotted from close range following a scrum inside the 6-yard box.
"We've improved in so many ways since the early part of the season, with our backline feeling like it can be trusted defending and helping in our attack, while our confidence in each other is so much better as well," said Pettenuzzo.
Froats also likes the teamwork he's seeing with regularity.
"We did a good job of possessing and knocking the ball around tonight, and taking advantage of opportunities early in the game, which is something we've been getting better at of late," he said. "I am very pleased with how we've been playing on both sides of the ball, and with the way two of our younger players -- Martina (Kowalczuk) and Andi (Marfilius) -- have brought so much energy and pace when they come on."
Prospect will finish its MSL regular season at home Friday against Schaumburg before beginning preparation for its regional opener with Palatine. Rolling Meadows (4-9-1 overall) travels to Elk Grove on Friday for its regular-season finale.
"I was happy to see us try to play in the second half, and not give up, and that is a real positive thing to take out of this game, despite the result," said Drenth.