Girls soccer: Wheaton North maintains DuKane lead after tying St. Charles East

A game of inches, soccer can be so cruel.

During Wheaton North’s late second-half rally Tuesday at St. Charles East, sophomore Jane Rogers absolutely annihilated a shot off a post with a little over six minutes remaining in a tie game.

It would have given the Falcons a come-from-behind victory, but instead they settled for a 1-1 tie to remain undefeated and hold their lead in the DuKane Conference.

“Yeah, it was unfortunate, I mean, I think sometimes it just doesn’t go your way,” Rogers said. “It was one of those moments, point blank range, and it’s just unlucky.”

A couple inches the other direction and the Falcons likely would have been celebrating a win.

“It (the post) gets bigger every year,” Rogers joked. “I don’t know. It’s like the curse of soccer. You can work so hard and then that happens. It’s such a heartbreaking feeling. But it doesn’t take away from what we did in the second half and how we were able to come back. I’m so happy with how we responded after having a bit of a slow first half.”

St. Charles East (13-3-4, 2-1-1) was coming off a loss to Benet in the Ed Watson Naperville Invitational semifinals Saturday morning. The Saints also had prom on Saturday night as did the Falcons.

Freshman Averie Foulkes got the Saints on the board with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

“It came from (freshman) Sophia (Wollenberg),” Foulkes said. “I just followed through. I don’t really remember what happened. I just hit the ball.”

Wheaton North (11-2-2, 2-0-2) didn’t allow the Saints to add to their lead, keeping its poise until the equalizer arrived with 14 minutes left.

Senior Addison Falco wasted no time at all redirecting a ball from sophomore Casey Kenny, blasting it over a valiant effort from leaping junior goalkeeper Sydney Lazenby to make it 1-all.

“Addison’s finish was phenomenal,” Falcons coach Tim McEvilly said. “Many kids would be all pumped up; they’re down 1-0 with about 15 minutes left in the game. She just got over it and there was nothing that keeper could’ve done about that ball. It was placed perfectly and it dipped extraordinarily well, and that gave us more energy. And then we kind of kept it up and I thought one was in there again.”

Falco thought she misfired.

“Honestly I thought it was going over (the goal), but I guess I got a little lucky and it went right over the goalie,” she said. “I tried to hit it on frame and hope for the best.”

The Saints had opportunities to capitalize and extend their halftime lead, but came up short, allowing the Falcons to hang around long enough until someone would score. Few teams have been able to shut down their potent attack with Rogers, Falco and junior Talia Kaempf constantly applying pressure. Wheaton North has only been shut out once in 16 games.

“It was a good learning experience for an inexperienced group,” Saints coach Vince DiNuzzo said. “But I thought for 60 minutes we were very good and posed a lot of opportunities to score, to get that second one in and finish them off. We just didn’t and let them hang around. And with someone like Jane on the field and (Kaempf and Falco), they can change the game at any minute and that’s just kind of what happened.”

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