Girls soccer: McPherson sisters, West Aurora shut out West Chicago
Olivia McPherson is used to being on the field with her twin sister, Kiara.
Not playing alongside Kiara in West Aurora's first two games not only felt strange to Olivia, it also limited the Blackhawks.
Kiara returned for Wednesday's Upstate Eight Conference girls soccer game at West Chicago, helping the Blackhawks earn a 2-0 victory, their first of the season.
They also handed West Chicago (2-1-2) its first loss of the spring.
"It does feel weird without her out there," Olivia McPherson said. "It feels really good to have her back. Even when she's across the field we can make eye contact and know exactly where to put a ball for each other, which is great."
Olivia received a ball on the corner of the box and maneuvered a bit to create an opening for a shot midway through the opening half to give West Aurora all the scoring it needed.
"I got a tight little ball and moved up and was able to get my shot," she said. "I slipped it right past the goalie's right shin."
The Wildcats didn't have the equalizer in them. Scoring opportunities were limited for the hosts, with arguably their best chance coming off the foot of senior Barbie Castellanos with five minutes remaining the game. That went right into the hands of West Aurora goalkeeper Madison Russell.
"We've been playing very aggressive soccer and didn't care what was the score but were just playing," West Chicago coach J. Cesar Gomez said. "We got spooked a bit today."
West Aurora (1-2) got an insurance goal with 21:46 left to play when Gracie Prather connected. Then just a couple minutes later the rains came down and continued for the remainder of the game.
"In the second half we were really trying to burst through and get a second goal," Prather said. "Our first two games we've gone up and then given them a goal back, so we're trying to get the lead, keep the lead and grow it."
The Blackhawks dominated possession in both halves, and when Prather provided the insurance goal, any chance the Wildcats had of coming back seemed to fade away.
"West Aurora really had control of the ball most of the game," West Chicago sophomore Irene Dino said. "They stayed calm and on our side we started panicking when they had the ball and we just lost it from there."
The Wildcats have a chance to rebound with a couple days of practice before they play Plainfield East for the BarbFest championship on Saturday. Some hardware to bring home from DeKalb would certainly be huge.
"We were hoping we were get more of a favorable result today, but that didn't happen," Gomez said. "So somehow we've got to find a way to inject some energy back to lift our heads up before we go to that game."
West Aurora will host Oswego in nonconference action on Friday afternoon.