Girls soccer: Stevenson, St. Francis battle to a draw
Mickey Corrigan's 53rd minute strike rescued St. Francis' girls soccer team from possible defeat and to a 1-1 tie Saturday afternoon in the Spartans' tourney opener of the Lou Malnati's Deep Dish Classic at the Northfield campus of host New Trier.
The reigning Class 2A state champions would chase the game for nearly 40 minutes looking to find the equalizer against Stevenson, which claimed a 1-0 advantage into the break after Kalyssa Van Zantens' goal in the 13th minute.
"It was well played, even at times, game but one that if we had finished a couple of glorious chances should have ended in the result we came here to get," bemoaned Stevenson coach PepeJon Chavez.
The Patriots (5-0-2) would enjoy most of the play in the first half against a Spartans club that has had to train indoors since the start of the spring season due to issues to their stadium after recent flooding.
"We looked a little out of sorts, especially in the first half. Some of that was due to Stevenson, some to a relatively young roster as well," admitted Spartans coach, Jim Winslow, who lost several players from the 2018 state championship club including Kendra Pasquale, now at Illinois after earning All-State honors three times.
Van Zanten, who was called up to train and play with the under-17 national team last January, steered in a Gabi Nye free kick in the 13th minute to give the Patriots, who next play New Trier on Monday, the early advantage.
The Spartans (0-1-2) were on their front foot after the intermission, showing more energy and pace after defending for most of the first half and would draw back even when Corrigan was allowed enough time and space to smash her 16-yard cracker in from the left side.
The Patriots could have doubled their advantage six minutes after the break when Abigail Kalou broke free into the Spartans' box with Van Zanten nearly redirecting her close range effort from another free kick serve by Nye.
"We played with so much more confidence in the second half and, yes, we survived a couple of close ones, but we showed a lot of promise which we'll look to take with us during a very busy week of tournament soccer," said Winslow.