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updated: 5/13/2014 10:02 PM

Libertyille's scoring trends upward

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By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

Scoring goals has been a big problem for Libertyville's girls soccer team -- until just recently.

The Wildcats have been able to find the back of the net in bunches over the last few games, outscoring their last three opponents 20-3.

Libertyville coach Andy Bitta has made some adjustments with the lineup recently. Two main beneficiaries on Tuesday were Emily Boyd, who scored her first 2 goals of the season, and Mia Hollingsworth, who had a goal and an assist as Libertyville rolled past visiting Antioch 5-1 in a North Suburban Conference crossover.

Early this season, Boyd played in some different spots up top, and on the outside at midfield. But she has settled into the central midfield spot recently, and that's led to more scoring.

"It's been hard for us to score," Boyd said. "We score like maybe late in the second halves, or not at all. It was good that we got some early. I think the connections with the girls have gotten us more goals together. Our confidence has gotten higher recently."

Danielle Pacholski and Emily Olsen had the other two Libertyville goals, and Maddie Olsen picked up an assist.

Libertyville (6-7-2) jumped out front with 4 first-half goals against Antioch (11-10-1).

"The girls are finally buying into the system," Bitta said. "We're two-touching, playing together, knocking the ball and finding the feet. We're just playing a lot better now as a cohesive group instead of playing kickball, or too much possession in the middle. We've finally found our niche on how we should be playing -- and we're playing much better. We're playing our best right now, with the playoffs starting next week."

Lauren Slack scored Antioch's goal with an assist from Mikayla Abbeduto.

The Sequoits' recent struggles are mostly a function of their strength of schedule.

"We're just playing teams that are better than us," Antioch coach Marni Polakow said. "We played a stronger team and they were much better than us."

Antioch opens the postseason at Grayslake North in Class 2A regional semifinal play next Wednesday. Libertyville finishes its regular season hosting Vernon Hills at 4:30 p.m. Friday before facing Glenbrook South in the Class 3A Stevenson regional next Tuesday night.

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