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updated: 5/27/2014 9:02 PM

Harlem blanks South Elgin in sectional semifinal

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By Allen Oshinski
Daily Herald Correspondent

ROCKFORD -- It just wasn't South Elgin's night.

Machesney Park Harlem took advantage of its scoring chances while the Storm couldn't, giving the Huskies a 3-0 victory in the semifinals of the Class 3A Rockford Auburn sectional at Wyeth Stadium.

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The Storm (13-6-2) were coming off their first regional title in school history, but couldn't get anything going against the speedy Huskies.

Harlem struck first just before halftime when Theresa Heitz popped a header over the head of Storm goalkeeper Jourdan Valkner.

The Storm players didn't hang their heads at that point.

"We were still really positive," said South Elgin coach Tiffany Disher. "A 1-0 game isn't really anything. We've seen where the Blackhawks have scored two goals in 30 seconds, and we've been able to put multiple goals in the final minute of a game."

But the Huskies, led by lightning-fast forward Emily Scott, kept up the pressure. She got loose on a breakaway down the left side in the 51st minute. Valkner made the initial save, but the rebound caromed right out to Scott's sister, Hannah, who banged it in to give the Huskies some insurance.

Emily Scott finally got on the board with just over 16 minutes left, giving the Huskies (21-1) an insurmountable lead.

South Elgin's Anna Tracy had two chances off corner kicks late in the game, but couldn't connect.

"We did have really good opportunities," said Tracy. "We unfortunately couldn't finish, which happens."

Harlem started a bit slowly. Valkner stopped Emily Scott on a pair of breakaways midway through the half and the Huskies otherwise hung back in a defensive posture.

"We came out a little sluggish the first 20 minutes," said Harlem coach Brad Heidenreich. "We thought they were bringing the action to us, then we settled down. Then I felt we took over the second part of the first half, then we cam out the second half and played very well.

"Anybody who's playing now, its going to come down to who gets the better breaks, and tonight we capitalized when we had them."

Despite Scott's speed, Disher didn't see that as the difference in the game.

"We did a tremendous job at shutting down No. 7, with her speed up top," she said. "She did get the third breakaway goal, but overall our goalkeeper made some solid saves against her. Just that one ball, the second rebound could have gone to any player, but it just happened to pop back out to theirs.

"If we would have hit one of ours and they missed one of theirs, it could have been a different game."

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