Girls soccer: Geneva, St. Charles East come up even

Senior night for Geneva didn’t end the way the Vikings had hoped.

A lightning delay with 22:58 left in the second half forced the game to be called early, as the Vikings and St. Charles East ended in a 0-0 draw Wednesday afternoon.

The game was originally delayed after the lightning detector sounded off with 25:50 remaining. The players returned to the field to resume play 55 minutes later, only for the detector to sound off again almost three minutes later.

Despite not reaching the 80-minute mark, Vikings coach Megan Owens felt her squad played a complete game on the pitch.

“I think we’re getting to the level that we’ve known they’re capable of all season,” Owens said. “We’re seeing us raise the bar each and every game and proving that we can compete with anybody.”

Before the game Geneva honored 10 seniors on the team, all in the starting lineup.

“I have an amazing senior class,” Owens said. “They’re all selfless and put the team before themselves. And I don’t think they’re ready for their season to end by any means, so it makes me very excited for the postseason.”

One of those seniors who made it to the pitch was goalie Jordan Forbes, who ended the night with a shutout and four saves, including a leaping one in the 51st minute to keep a corner kick from Sophia Wollenberg out of the net.

“It was hard to get to get to the ball, because I was just getting sandwiched in,” Forbes said. “But a lot of my defense was helping me by marking them and trying to push them out of the way so I could get to the ball.”

Forbes said because she’s played with her defenders for all four years, it’s given her a lot of confidence that the backline will help her keep the ball out of the net.

“I just have a lot of confidence in them,” Forbes said. “I know that if I ever make a mistake or they make one, we can help right each other’s wrongs.”

The Vikings (9-5-2, 2-1-1 DuKane) started the game going after the Saints defense, constantly pushing the ball deep into East territory and challenging goalkeeper Sidney Lazenby to make plays in net.

The Vikings nearly got on the scoreboard in the 24th minute on a scorcher from Evyn Schokora, but Lazenby made a diving save over her head to knock the ball into the crossbar. With it still in play, Lazenby quickly recovered and punched the ball out of the box and away from Olivia Rowls, who was charging in to try and get the rebound.

“She’s been a rock back there,” Saints coach Vince DiNuzzo said. “She’s gaining confidence at the right time, and hopefully we can get on a roll. We haven’t conceded a lot of goals this year, and part of that is due to her.”

The Saints (13-3-5, 2-1-2) seemed to find their groove in the second half, with Wollenberg nearly finding the net on a corner kick and Averie Foulkes nearly tapping one in minutes later.

DiNuzzo said part of the adjustment the team had to make was absorbing the pressure that Geneva was giving them. The other was to make changes tactically.

“We had to switch what we were doing upfront in terms of our roles and defensive assignments to try and create more numbers and get more scoring opportunities,” DiNuzzo said. “The kids executed like they needed to, we just weren’t lucky enough to score.”

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