Girls soccer: Conant's solid overall play sinks Buffalo Grove
Conant's midweek victory over visiting Buffalo Grove at Charles Feutz Stadium moved the Cougars one step closer to a second-place finish in the MSL West Division.
Cougars coach Jason Franco's top three scorers proved too much for the Bison (4-7-1, 3-6-0) who saw their three-game win streak come to an end. Sarah Bradley, Sophie Dobrincu and Emma Simpson all had a hand in the Cougars' 4-0 Senior Night victory in Hoffman Estates that improves their record to 10-2-2 overall, 8-1-1 in the MSL.
"I wasn't really sure what we would have when the season began, but this team has come together very nicely. And with just four seniors on our roster, we'll have a chance to be even better next season," said Franco.
"Our team has very good chemistry, we work hard, and we attack really well on the outside with Sarah (Bradley) and inside with myself and Emma Simpson," said Dobrincu, who increased the Cougars' advantage to 2-0 with her team-leading 11th goal in the 35th minute.
Bradley, whose pace has shown to break down even the most airtight defenses, took a cross field ball from Dobrincu. She raced up the right side to the end line where she fired in her first of the night high into the far inside corner in the fifth minute of play.
The Bison would defend with all their might as the home side had the majority of the play in the first half. They did well keeping compact with numbers behind the ball until Dobrincu made it 2-0.
"We lost nearly all of our players from last year's team, but this team, despite its inexperience, plays with a lot of heart, and works together real well, and I know I've seen improvement each time we go out," said Bison junior Kora Kipley, who was a key figure in the Bison claiming the 2021 MSL East Division title. She also recently made a commitment to play at Western Kentucky following the 2023 soccer season.
Kipley, who began the night alongside Gracie Lee as the Bison's central defenders, moved into the midfield after the break to help bring some life to the attack. Together with sophomores Taylore Camel and Olivia Larkowski, that's exactly what this trio would do.
"I enjoy playing all over the field for us, and in the second half, I felt like our attack was so much better than in the first half," added Kipley.
Bison keeper Eva Ruterschmidt turned in a marvelous 80 minutes between the sticks. She took at least three out of the back of the net with valiant saves, perhaps her best coming in the first half against Dobrincu in the 33rd minute.
The junior could do nothing when Bradley tripled the Cougars' advantage just after the break, or when Simpson made it 4-0 off a Sophia Bertani corner in the 74th minute.
"We're very young along the back with three underclassmen, and most of the rest of our team coming back. But for this year, I feel like we can have a good run in the postseason," said Dobrincu.