It's hard to tell whether Naperville North wanted to win Tuesday's girls soccer game more to secure a share of the DuPage Valley Conference title or just to beat cross-town rival Naperville Central.
The Huskies accomplished both, defeating the Redhawks 3-0 at Naperville North.
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"We really needed this one," Huskies sophomore Maddie Krejci said. "We wanted to win conference. It was a really big game for us, and especially because they're our rivals. It's, like, a huge win. Everyone just wanted to win, I could tell. Those goals were for my teammates. It's just for everyone. It's a huge game for everyone."
Krejci played a huge role in the victory, twice using her head to score off Abby Mangefrida corner kicks.
"I always try to picture myself scoring," Krejci said. "It was huge for me. I love scoring header goals."
"She's the littlest person on the field, but I always say to everybody she's probably one of the best players we have in the air, just because she's willing to fight, she's got a good vertical and she's got that will to get on the end of it, and that's what it was today," Huskies coach Steve Goletz added.
Krejci's first goal, coming in the 32nd minute, put a world of pressure on the Redhawks, who have struggled to score this season.
"Naperville North just outplayed us," Redhawks coach Ed Watson said. "They were in better positions than we were. They forced their will upon us, and it's not our girls weren't (working hard). The word effort gets thrown around. We gave effort.
"It's awfully difficult when you play 20 games and you know that when a team gets a goal on you you're in such a bad situation because your team doesn't score very well. It's not because they're not giving effort. It's because we've got some kids who are being asked to do more than they should be asked to do right now."
"It always feels good when we score the first goal. It's a huge boost to our team," Krejci said. "After the first two we knew we had it, I think."
The Huskies put the game away in the 58th minute on Abbie Boswell's 15th goal of the season, a 23-yard strike that made the score 2-0. The Mangefrida-to-Krejci combination struck again in the 75th minute, Krejci's third goal of the season, Mangefrida's fifth assist.
"(Mangefrida) this year has been awesome," Goletz said of the senior. "She's served in so many consistent balls for us."
The Huskies (9-5-3, 5-1) can clinch the DVC title outright Thursday against Lake Park. The Redhawks fell to 8-7-5, 4-2-1.
"The awesome part of this win tonight is we played so hard, the girls played so hard," Goletz said. "The girls went after every 50/50 ball. That kind of set the tone and allowed us to settle into the game."
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