Girls soccer: Bornhoff, Waubonsie Valley stop St. Charles North at Naperville Invite

Waubonsie Valley goalkeeper Lauren Bornhoff felt a bit chilly before taking the field against St. Charles North on Saturday morning.

“Definitely sitting out here waiting to warm up, it was freezing,” Bornhoff said. “But once you got on the field, you started to warm up and you got excited and pumped.”

Bornhoff and her teammates were pumped after her otherworldly performance. The senior made 16 saves, including several spectacular diving stops, as the Warriors upset St. Charles North 2-0 in a Naperville Invitational game at Naperville North.

With the win, the Warriors (8-2-2) secured a spot in the tournament quarterfinals on April 25.

“We were determined,” Bornhoff said. “We knew they were hard a team. We prepared ourselves for the worst of things, but also to go out hard and play our best. We performed so well that we got that goal in the first couple of minutes and kept our lead, kept our head in the game.”

St. Charles North (12-2-3) dominated the vast majority of the possession and enjoyed a 24-8 edge in shots.

But the North Stars found themselves trailing when freshman Ava Kus lofted a 35-yard shot over the head of goalkeeper Lauren Korioth with 31:06 left in the first half.

After that, the Warriors had to dig deep to hold off an onslaught by the North Stars. Midfielder Juliana Park hit the crossbar and forwards Laney Stark and Kaitlin Glenn had numerous golden opportunities snuffed out by Bornhoff.

“She played fantastic,” St. Charles North coach Brian Harks said. “She made some really nice saves. I thought our girls played really well everywhere on the field. It’s one of those games where we couldn’t find the back of the net. Soccer can be a cruel sport that way.”

How did Bornhoff do it?

“I’ve played good, but I think this was definitely my best game so far this season,” Bornhoff said. “I really wanted to step up for the team because I knew they wanted to play their hearts out.

“I was like, ‘Heck yeah, let’s do it.’ ”

Bornhoff had plenty of help from her overworked back line.

“Our defense did amazing,” Bornhoff said. “[The North Stars] had so many shots, I can’t even comprehend how many. Without the defense, it wouldn’t have been possible.”

Any chance the North Stars had of rallying ended when the Warriors scored again. Senior Zoe Evans converted a 35-yard free kick with 10:10 left in the second half.

“They fought for each other,” Waubonsie Valley coach Julie Bergstrom said. “They played for each other and played for the person on the left and person on the right.”

The Naperville Invitational is the most prestigious regular-season tournament in the state. Advancing out of group play is a serious accomplishment.

“This is probably the best season we’ve had in the past four years,” Bornhoff said. “We’re doing amazing. I’m so proud of the team.”

Despite the loss, Harks had a positive message for the North Stars.

“The message for the girls was pretty simple,” Harks said. “Sometimes soccer is like that where you can do everything right and just don’t find the back of the net. Moving forward, we talked about the value of one possession and maybe some missed opportunities and how to make the most of it.”

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