Girls soccer: Maine West finds winning pace against Wheeling
Maine West's girls soccer team overcame a slow start in the rain to explode for 4 first-half goals en route to a 7-2 nonconference road victory over Wheeling in girls soccer on Monday.
After Wheeling's Kari Webber scored the first of her two goals, freshman Dylan Van Fleet got the Warriors (4-8-1) back level before Vanessa Reys and Maddie Roppel went back-to-back in a matter of three minutes to give coach Jeff Bishop's team the lead for good.
"I sure didn't like what I saw tonight, especially in the first half," said Bishop. "If we come out that slow (Tuesday) night against Deerfield, we're going to be in for a long night."
While the visitors were struggling to get much of anything going forward, the winless Wildcats (0-10-0) clearly had the better of it.
"I was real happy with the way we tried to play tonight, especially in the first half," said Wheeling coach Dwayne Cruz. "When we're up against a team that is a little closer to our level, we can possess, defend and play with some purpose and creative soccer."
Webber fired in the first goal at 22 minutes and later brought her club within 1 (at 3-2) in the 33rd minute, when she outworked a pair of defenders before driving home her 12-yard strike.
"It felt good to see us play the way we did in the first half, I just think we ran out of a gas after the break," said Webber, who has now scored 3 goals in the Wildcats' last two games.
Webber and teammates Ally Ferraro and Jasminey Usef provided much of the early attacking firepower.
"I think our slow start begins with the way we train, and how we warm-up, so that's something we've got to get better with," said Maine West's Sarah Magnoni, who is in the center of the Warriors' back four alongside Ellie McCabe.
After Van Fleet equalized, Reyes was given enough time to tee-up an 18-yard blast. Roppel followed to make it 3-1. The Maine West lead was 4-2 heading into the intermission after Roppel shot over keeper Sonja Ovellana, with assists from Julia Deac and Van Fleet.
Soon after the break, Ovellana stopped a Deac attempt -- but then Reyes scored again.
Magaly Barrera forced Maine West keeper Gabri Faraone into action at 48 minutes. Faraone was at her best in the closing minutes when a marvelous reaction save kept the home side from reaching 3 goals.
Shortly after the hour, Jessica Felix took over for the Warriors in the middle of the park, nearly scoring three but settling for the final goal of the evening with a bending right-footed attempt just inside the far post.
Natalie Trytko made it 6-2 on a wonderful individual effort at 65 minutes.
"With the poor start tonight, it was like a flashback to our Pepsi Showdown opener against Tinley Park where we ended up losing 6-0," said Bishop. "We pulled ourselves together in time to put a few in. But we've just got to get better right from the start."