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updated: 5/9/2017 10:29 PM

Girls soccer: Perfect league finish for Wauconda

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By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

Winning a conference championship may not be enough to fully satisfy Wauconda's girls soccer team.

From the looks of it, they're expecting much more in the upcoming Class 2A state tournament.

For the second straight season, the Bulldogs have gone unbeaten in conference play.

Last year, Wauconda had a tie with Lakes in a 5-0-1 run through the final season of the North Suburban Prairie.

This year, Wauconda went a perfect 7-0 in the inaugural Northern Lake County Conference, improving their overall record to 15-0-1 after a 4-0 victory against host Grayslake Central on Tuesday night.

Abigail McHugh led the way with a pair of goals and Kayla Wisniewski, known for her scoring, had 2 assists to give her 18 this season. Megan Sinnott and Natalie Thompson had the other goals for Wauconda, and Jill Rejczyk earned her 13th shutout after making 4 saves.

"It's goal No. 1 at the beginning of the season," said Wauconda coach Beau Shogren of the league success. "The first thing we had to do was to win the conference. A lot of people have been asking us about the undefeated record. The wins and losses don't really matter as long as we got the (championship). It's a great start for validating everything we've done. We have high hopes and expectations going into the state tournament."

On Tuesday, Wauconda scored 3 goals in the first half. Sinnott finished off the first one off a pass from Wisniewski in the eighth minute. Wisniewski followed up with a set-up for McHugh, who kicked a 20-yard shot into the corner for a 2-0 advantage in the 32nd minute.

The Bulldogs added another goal three minutes later, as Thompson found the back of the net with an assist from Olivia Kuch. Then McHugh scored her second goal on a header following a corner kick from Morgan Lung in the 61st minute.

"Our movement and our communication has done well this year," McHugh said. "We just know where to pass the balls and run. We have faster people on the outside to help Kayla (Wisniewski) out. It's something that we've improved a lot and our defense has been really strong."

Defensively, Wauconda has been like incredible all season long as they've given up just 5 goals on this incredible run.

"We changed formations in our junior year," said Aimee Berg, a veteran varsity player who provides stability on the back line at center-back. "It allows us to shift and move a lot better. The coaches have taught us to move the ball instead of sending it and clearing it, that we might lose possession again. We have a lot more possession out of the back."

Others help in the back-line effort for Wauconda include Annalyse Maze, Olivia Kuch, Savannah Johnson and Natalie Thompson.

Grayslake Central (8-9, 4-3) has been in practically every game this season. But finding a consistent finishing touch has been elusive.

"I thought we worked real hard," Grayslake Central Bethany Martin said. "After it wasn't in question, we struggled to score goals and get chances in front of the goal. You can't win games if you can't score. (Wauconda) has some quality players up top -- if they're given a chance, then they will finish.

"We need to find some combination of players or someone to take the lead -- finish chances, takes chances. We need a goal-scorer."

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