Girls soccer: An NSC draw for Mundelein, Stevenson
Trying to stay on top of the North Suburban Conference girls soccer standings is a challenge, as both Mundelein and Stevenson will attest.
The two teams played to a 2-2 draw in Lincolnshire on Thursday night.
Myah Strokosch scored both goals for Mundelein (5-2-2, 2-0-1), while Brianna VanZanten and Purdue-bound Hannah Lapeire tallied for Stevenson (4-3-2, 1-0-1).
"It was a proper soccer game and a tough result," Mundelein coach Ernie Billittier said. "(Stevenson) was tough to play against, especially in the second half. They outplayed us for most of the half. The ball was in the air a lot. The last 10 minutes, once we got the ball back on the ground more and used our width a little bit more, we created a couple chances."
Mundelein held a 2-1 lead into the second half. But in the 59th minute, after a Mundelein foul in the final third of the field, Lapeire stepped up and connected on a free kick from 30 yards out.
"All of my teammates were lined up in the box, and it was close to chip it over the top," Lapeire, a junior midfielder, said of her third goal this season. "We were down a goal. So why not be aggressive and go for it in these type of conference games that are close? I did hit one over the top (of the goal) in the first half, so I was (focused) on keeping my head down and getting good contact with the ball."
Stevenson may be on the younger side, but the Patriots are picking up valuable experience and getting better each time out.
"I'm pleased with the maturity the girls showed in the second half," Stevenson coach PepeJon Chavez said. "In the first half we showed our lack of experience. I was still not completely satisfied with our execution transitioning from defense to offense in the attacking third. We're not getting our numbers up, and that's allowing teams to play through us and through our midfield."
Mundelein got on the board in the fifth minute, when Strokosch scored off a pass from Gigi Sahagun. Stevenson evened the match in the 14th minute when VanZantan scored after taking a pass from Cassie Farber.
A minute later, Strokosch headed in Nicole Robb's corner kick for a 2-1 advantage.
"I think it was the third corner kick we took in the game," Strokosch said. "The first one skimmed right by me. I knew I wanted to get the next one. I just had all eyes on the ball and put it in.
"Our whole conference is really competitive, so every conference game is a battle out here."