Naperville North routs Oswego East, advances to sectional final
Many great teams have seen their season come to an end against Naperville North.
You can add Oswego East to that list.
Despite having the best season in program history, the Wolves saw theirs come to a close on Tuesday night with a 6-0 loss to the Huskies in a Class 3A Naperville Central sectional semifinal.
"I think we just had the jitters at 25 minutes there," Wolves coach Juan Leal said. "This is a place we've never been before and it's hard to adjust to a team that's been seasoned and have been here. And Naperville North just came out and it was another routine sectional semifinal game for them, and for us this was new territory. I'm just proud of the girls for how we adjusted in the second half and just played better."
Oswego East (18-3) was fortunate that Taylor Korosec's shot 10 minutes into the action hit a crossbar, but the Wolves wouldn't be so lucky when Lucy Iverson buried a shot with 26:16 left in the first half to make it 1-0.
"I wouldn't say we came to the game intimidated, but I think we knew this was going to be a tough game, one of our toughest of the season," Wolves sophomore Riley Gumm said. "Big props to (Naperville North). They're a great team, but I'm proud of everyone. I think we did everything we could to put it all on the line."
A little over a minute later and Cameron DeCook stunned the Wolves when she sent a 30-yard laser inside the far post. Then, just a couple minutes later, Olivia Anderson assisted Cameron Dinkla to make it 3-0 not even midway through the first half.
"We didn't play a good regional and we challenged the kids," Huskies coach Steve Goletz said. "We knew Oswego East was a great team, and they are, but the girls bought in tonight and played hard from the start. We got some breaks where the ball fell to our feet at the right time and we finished chances. We have a great record and have beat some very good teams, but we've left chances on the field -- tonight we didn't."
Naperville North (19-2-3) victimized the Wolves on restarts and extended its lead to 5-0 before halftime with Rachael Noren scoring on a rebound before Korosec buried a throw-in opportunity.
"Our restart ability is always fantastic and we scored a couple," Goletz said. "Cameron DeCook was fantastic early in the game and scored a great shot. The kids put in the work and played hard today, and that was Naperville North soccer. The goals were a cherry on top, but the focus on shutting down a very good Oswego East offense was our focus at the start."
Coincidentally, the last time the Wolves were shut out was during a season-opening 1-0 loss to on the same field, but against Naperville Central. While it's a stinging way to end, it does little to tarnish an unprecedented year and two-year run for the Wolves who compiled a 32-4 record, including a 22-0 mark in the Southwest Prairie Conference while scoring over 70 goals and surrendering less than 20 during both seasons and winning their first regional.
"It's crazy because if you were to tell me freshman year what our team would be like now I would not have believed it," Wolves senior Chloe Noon said. "It's been amazing to grow so much as a program and to do it with this group of girls and the coaching staff. There's nobody else I would've wanted to do it with."
And they did some amazing things.
"This group of girls is probably the most special group to come through here for what they've done," Leal said. "It's the leadership they've exemplified, whether starters or coming off the bench, just the positive energy they brought, the constant sisterhood and the camaraderie that they were bringing."
The Huskies will take on Metea Valley (18-2-1) on Friday. The Mustangs beat the Huskies 3-1 on May 3.