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updated: 5/10/2014 6:02 PM

Bowles' hat trick keeps Carmel rolling

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By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

Sarah Bowles learned a great deal of soccer over the years from her older sister, Lauren.

Those lessons helped elevated Sarah's ability, which in turns has helped Carmel Catholic's girls soccer team make a habit of winning.

Bowles, a senior, started the season as a defender before moving to the midfield. And she's since become one of the Corsairs' leading scorers.

It was a another big step forward for Bowles on Saturday, as she produced her first hat track to help Carmel past Marian Catholic 7-0 on Saturday morning in East Suburban Catholic Conference play in Mundelein.

Carmel has won five straight.

Lauren Bowles graduated in 2011, but had a big role in her younger sister's development in the sport.

"She has taught me a lot over the years," Sarah Bowles said. "I started the year as a defender. That was the position (Lauren) used to play, and she would give me tips here and there."

This season, Sarah has been tried in several diffferent spots on the field. But she's really been a good fit at midfield and already has 7 goals.

"My coach (John Halloran) wanted me to move up there," said Bowles, "because he wanted me to possess the ball more. We've also meshed more with the midfield and the forwards."

Carmel's other goals on Saturday were from Erin Johnston, who had 2, Emily Helle and Caitlin Newell. Kayla Handel assisted on two goals, and Jenny Doyle, Newell and Helle also picked up assists.

Mackenzie Burns and Rachel Bierman combined for the clean sheet in goal for the Corsairs.

Carmel has improved to 10-4-2 overall and 6-2-1 in the ESCC while Marian Catholic dropped to 7-10-3, 0-5-2.

"I knew and I tried to convey to the girls that we opened the season with some heavy hitters," Halloran said. "They were pretty frustrated at the beginning of the season, which I understand -- and I was frustrated too. If you look at who we played in the first 10 games of the year . . . we came out 5-4-1 -- it wasn't the end of the world. We had some things that we had to fix."

The Corsairs have made the adjustments at the right time and seem to be playing their best soccer with the postseason just around the corner.

Carmel opens its postseason play against Mundelein. They played to a 1-1 draw earlier this spring.

"We've had a bit of an easier stretch in our schedule," Halloran said. "Our hope at this point is to get into the regional and give Mundelein a run for their money and hope we can do some damage against Barrington. There are no easy games in 3A in this area. You know that you're in a dogfight when you get into the playoffs from game one."

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