Lake Zurich keep the pressure on, advances to sectional
Lake Zurich's girls soccer team wasn't comfortable leading Stevenson by just two goals at halftime.
"We had a good first half," Bears coach Michael Castronova said. "We had chances. (Stevenson) had chances."
Lake Zurich buried more chances after halftime, never letting up en route to a 5-0 win in the Class 3A Glenbrook North regional final Friday night.
Rebecca Kubin led the second-seeded Bears with 2 goals and an assist. Madeline Blasko also scored twice, and Danielle Ufheil added a goal and an assist. Emily Udelhoven contributed a pair of assists for Lake Zurich (17-3-2), which will play in the Glenbrook South sectional semifinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The Bears will face the winner of today's game between No. 3 Hersey and No. 6 Glenbrook South.
No. 7 Stevenson finished 10-8-1.
"We knew in the second half that Stevenson would come out real hard," Castronova said. "We were on our toes a little bit. But when we got the third goal, that was important for us. We had to be prepared for (Stevenson) starting that second half strong, and they took it to us. I think we put some passes together and put some pressure on their forwards. But if they would have scored, it could have gone the other way."
With Stevenson pushing for a goal for about 20 minutes, Lake Zurich tightened up defensively. Bears keeper Elly Daleske made 4 of her 7 stops in the second half and earned her 13th clean sheet of the season.
"It's the worst score to be ahead by," Stevenson coach Kevin Heffernan said. "Unfortunately, it went the other way. We did have a number of chances. We had to push forward at that point (down 2-0). At the half, we told them that we're going for it, and the girls had no problems with that. I'd rather lose 5-0 than sit back and lose 3-0. Our girls showed great character out there."
Blasko gave the Bears their third goal -- and a sigh of relief -- in the 62nd minute, finishing a pass from Udelhoven. The Bears added insurance goals in the 68th and 70th minutes from Uhfeil and Kubin, respectively.
"The composure and focus we have when we work together is really good," said Kubin, who has 10 goals and 4 assists this season.
"We want to take this to the next level," Castronova said. "We have the capability and have showed that in games consistently this season. The whole season we've talked about playing our best soccer at the end of the season."