Girls soccer: Andrews, Wheaton Academy deliver perfect results against St. Francis

Forget about three times.

Just two times was the charm for Wheaton Academy junior Elly Andrews Saturday at the Class 2A Lemont girls soccer sectional final.

Twice in the game against rival St. Francis, the Warriors were awarded free kicks just over the midfield stripe.

It was Andrews who took the kicks, and each time, she delivered.

With deadly accuracy, the junior sent the ball exactly where it needed to be in the box, where her teammates finished.

Seniors Katelyn Schoepke and Rebecca Schulenburg converted the terrific helpers into goals, and the Warriors stayed the course thereafter in a 3-0 victory.

Wheaton Academy advances to the Class 2A Hinsdale South supersectional on Tuesday where they will play Burlington Central for a state berth.

Andrews excelled despite having to shake off an injury in the first half, when she had to leave the game after having the wind knocked out of her during a hard fall.

“This is huge,” said Andrews of the win. “It’s a good rivalry (with St. Francis), but at the same time we treat every game as a big game.

“We were really looking forward to this, and I’m super proud of everyone. They always say ‘go all-in’, and I think in this game we really did go all-in."

St. Francis played extremely well, but couldn’t get anything past Warriors keeper Calla Brust.

“We probably outshot them,” said Spartans coach Jim Winslow, “and when you look at it, we actually had the better opportunities.”

Wheaton Academy (18-0-3) opened the scoring in the eighth minute.

Andrews sent her first free kick right on frame, where Spartans keeper Kennedy Karl leaped high to make a save.

But a rebound was given up, and Schopke was there to send the ball to the back of the net from just two yards out.

“That was really exciting,” said Andrews. “My goal was to try to put it in as close as possible, and hope one of our girls would be on it.

“And they were, which was awesome.”

At halftime, the defender said that she and her teammates weren’t satisfied with the one-goal advantage.

“We talked about the fact that one goal was not enough,” she said. “We had to go out and get a couple more and shut the door.”

The Warriors doubled the lead in the 50th minute. Another free kick by Andrews, in almost the same spot as her first one, found the feet of Schulenburg.

Schulenburg sent a high-arcing shot over the Spartans keeper's outstretched arms, flying into the goal to make it 2-0.

St. Francis and especially senior forward Paige Chrustowski stayed aggressive thereafter.

They made things difficult for the Warriors defense, but try as they might, the Spartans couldn’t cut into the deficit.

Schoepke finished the scoring with a header in the 66th minute to make it 3-0 and put the match out of reach.

Wheaton Academy coach Maria Selvaggio said that when she and her team learned who their opponent would be in the sectional final, they needed “a day to process it.”

“We needed to wrap our heads around the fact that we had the chance to play a really good Francis side,” she said, “that we have historically rivaled against.

“The girls had plenty of motivation to play their best game, because Francis is a great team and they’ve got some fantastic players.”

It was the final contest for the eight seniors on the Spartans roster.

“They’ve worked hard and they’re awesome kids,” said Winslow. “They’re going to go on to do great things and we’re going to miss them."

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