Girls soccer: Burk's timely switch results in Fremd's match-winner
Lauren Burk's 68th-minute strike sealed the first victory of the season for Fremd's girls soccer team as the Vikings defeated visiting Prospect 1-0 on Thursday night at Hildebrandt Stadium in Palatine.
With Fremd looking for inspiration in its attack, coach Steve Keller moved one of his top defenders up top.
Just moments after the switch, Burk found the upper right corner from just outside the box for the eventual game-winner.
"The ball just fell to me right when (Keller) moved me up and all I was trying to do was put a good shot on frame," said Burk, who along with teammate Marta Cholewa praised the work of keeper Jennifer Norris, who was superb when called upon.
"(Jennifer) took two goals out of the back of the net for us," Cholewa said. "So without her, we might lose by a goal."
Cholewa, Burk and their back-line mates watched as the Knights (2-2-0, 0-1-0) enjoyed most of the play in the first half, playing through fine midfielder Ashley Welk and running mate Shawna Stokes, who helped their side attack with plenty of purpose and industry.
"I thought we possessed and played some pretty good soccer in both halves," said Prospect coach Tom Froats. "Especially in the second half, when we created a couple of quality chances in which their keeper did a great job of keeping us out of the back of the net."
After intermission both clubs played with more urgency, perhaps knowing that on the cold evening, one goal might be the difference.
Quiet for most of the first half, the Vikings' attack show some life following the break.
It was Mackenzie Stein, Ashley Scesniak and Kayla Tanner at the heart of the uprising.
For the Knights, the ceaseless energy of Kristin Schneider on the outside had the junior providing a steady stream of balls up top in an attempt to help break the back line of the Vikings.
On one occasion, Schneider nearly set Abbey Danciu free in the box.
If not for a sharp tackle by Emma Katkovich, who would later do the same against Ella Marzolf, the visitors could have been in and on Norris.
Norris' reaction save on a snapshot from in close by Schneider saved the day for the home side in the 65th minute. That set up Burk's heroics three minutes later.
"It's a disappointing season-opening loss in the MSL, to say the least," Froats said. "And one that we at least would have liked to come away with 1 point from."
"Credit their keeper," Nowak said. "She came up big when they needed her, and that's the way soccer goes sometimes."
Prospect will have some time off before hosting Palatine on April 4 while the Vikings play at Wheeling on the same day.