Elgin freshman Hannah Erickson certainly faced a tough test in her first game minding the Maroons' net against Streamwood in the Class 3A South Elgin Regional girls soccer semifinal on Wednesday.
With normal starting keeper Hannah Demel out with an injury, Erickson did a masterful job denying Tawny Carroll, who entered the game with 28 goals and 17 assists for the No. 3 seed Sabres (7-13-3) as the No. 2 Maroons (9-9) earned a 3-0 win to advance to Friday's title game against top-seeded South Elgin (12-5-2).
"They were a great opponent, but as soon as we got the momentum we wanted to take it to them," Erickson said. "I was just trying to hold onto the lead after we scored."
Gabriela Delgado broke up a scoreless tie in the 53rd minute, just a minute after Erickson denied the game's best scoring chance through that point of the game. Alondra Blanco played a nice ball up to Carroll, who took a shot that was met by a diving Erickson.
After the Maroons took the 1-0 lead, Delgado added an assist off a Bopha Travis goal in the 57th minute and scored the final goal of the game in the 68th minute.
"It really was huge for us," Delgado said of Erickson's performance. "It got us all pumped up when she made those stops, and we wanted to put the ball in the net."
Carroll had 5 shots on goal stopped by Erickson in the second half, all coming on athletic stops. Erickson had 6 saves in the game including one off a quality Shonali Pierce attempt in the first half.
Despite a 10-6 advantage in shots on goal by the Maroons, the number of quality chances were even. Sabres keeper Nathalie Guindon made 7 saves.
"They finished their chances, and we didn't finish ours," Sabres' coach Matt Polovin said. "That can't happen at this point in the season, but we're young. Hopefully we can learn from this and we can be on the other side of a game like this next year."
Streamwood graduates two, four-year varsity players Erika Delgado and Hannah McGlone.
The host Storm defeated Larkin 10-0 in Tuesday's semifinal, but that lopsided score doesn't worry Elgin coach Alicia Knoll.
"To me, scores don't really mean much at this point," Knoll said. "Every day is a new day when it comes to regionals. It'll be a good battle."