Girls soccer: Lakes, St. Viator advance to regional final
Lakes (7-5-4), the No. 9 seed, will play No. 2 St. Viator in its own regional final Friday afternoon after turning in a strong performance Tuesday night at Polley Field in Lake Villa over league rival Grayslake Central.
Led by the terrific work of its dynamic duo in the middle, Sophia Goodale and Mia Silber, the Eagles bagged two second-half goals en route to an impressive 3-0 victory over No. 7 Grayslake Central, which ends its season at 6-8-3.
"We've been playing some of our best over the past two years of late. Our passing is so much better, we're putting more shots (on) goal, we're more confident in our play, and with each other, so we just want to keep on going in the playoffs," said Goodale, who will play next fall at UW-Lacrosse.
"This was a very good all-around effort," said Lakes coach Keith Kullby, whose club recently drew 0-0 with tonight's opponent.
"Sophia and Mia really ran the show for us tonight. (Their) distribution, and ability to take people on, helped create chances for themselves, and their teammates. And defensively, we really didn't give them to many quality chances either."
The home side came out on their front foot. It did not take long for them to find the opener, which came through Goodale who collected the ball at the midline, hesitated for a moment, before bursting through the Rams with speed before driving her close range effort past keeper, Piper Gallaher, in the 12th minute.
"We didn't come out with much intensity which is something we've done quite a bit this season," said Rams coach Keith Andersson.
"Credit (Lakes) they were the better team tonight, and deserved their result. (It's) just always tough for the seniors who have to see their season end so abruptly," added Andersson, who will continue tradition by having his seniors run their final training session of their careers on Wednesday before the team goes their separate ways.
Gallaher would make a quality save on a well hit free kick from Silber to the back post in the 23rd minute, and Gallaher was at it again minutes later when she turned an angled attempt from Lily Erwin over the bar.
The All-Conference keeper could do nothing when Silber doubled the Eagles advantage just after the intermission when she was allowed to run freely up the center channel.
Amanda Dietz would see her blast saved by Gallaher. But when the ball spilled just outside the six-yard box, an opportunistic Carolyn Monaco drove her one-timer in to triple the lead on the hour.
Earlier in this contest, the Rams nearly equalized if not for the combined efforts of Sophie Walker and Tessa Smith, who took a Dahlia Rodriguez sure goal off the line.
The central defenders were terrific all throughout to help ensure a shutout which was shared by Catlin Pron and Nicole Varga, who came in to relieve Pron in the 49th minute when the sophomore was helped off after suffering an injury during a 50-50 challenge.
Pron would return later in the match.
"If we were a little sharper in the final third, we might have added another goal or two, but the girls played very well on both sides of the ball tonight, and hopefully we'll do so again in our final this Friday," said Kullby.
St. Viator 12, Chicago Senn 0:
By the time freshmen Monica Correa scored her hat trick, No. 2 St. Viator (9-5-3) had already booked its place in the regional final.
When the halftime whistle sounded, the Lions were a comfortable 10 goals ahead of an overwhelmed No. 15 Senn (3-12-0) from the CPS First Division North.
Correa scored twice before the half-hour, and six others netted to give the Lions a 10-0 advantage at the intermission, with Correa, and senior Sydney Grant, adding two more to end the scoring on this chilly afternoon in Lake Villa at Polley Field.
"It's good to come out and score so many goals, but we have to realize, especially our younger players who are in their first state series (that) the games will get a little tougher than today, and that we have to come out and play much better, because our opponent(s) will have more experience than we saw today against a team that played hard the entire game," said Lions senior Emilie Doersching, who was a key figure in the Lions' third-place finish last season at the 2A state tournament.
"We went through a tough stretch were we gave away a two-goal lead to Carmel in a disappointing loss, then were beat by a very good Benet Academy team. But even though we lost to Libertyville, 2-0, we all played so much better (and) that's what we took with us today, and hope to continue on Friday in our regional final," added Doersching, who will play next fall at Northern Kentucky University, where she plans to pursue a Sports Marketing degree.
The senior had a hand in the Lions' first two goals, both coming before three minutes had been played. The first was from Allison Konopka, followed quickly by Gabriella Letto, who would later earn her second of the match just before the break.
Bella Scheidecker, Colleen Murphy and Evelyn Urbaniak would make it 6-0 before Doersching claimed her first of the day.
Senior Emma Ziebka made it an even 10 goals in the 40th minute.
"We're nearly 100% healthy, so we want to just want to go out and play better each time out, and see what happens after that," said Lions coach Byron DeLeon.