Girls soccer: Batavia's defense denies WW South
Cold rain, sleet and even snow might bother high school soccer players, but if there were an element they despise the most, nothing would probably come close to wind.
On Wednesday, Zaira Solis was thankful for it.
The Batavia senior acknowledged that her goal with 12:51 remaining in the first half was aided by the strong breeze, and it held up as the Bulldogs edged Wheaton Warrenville South 1-0 in a DuKane Conference game that was called with 5:05 remaining to play due to lightning.
"I just got a ball from Anna (Holcombe) in the middle and took a touch in," she said. "The wind helped a lot and I knew the wind was going to benefit a shot if I took it, and it went left corner and she (goalkeeper Abbie Brennan) kind of tipped it in."
It was the ninth shutout for Batavia (10-1-2, 3-0), which has now outscored its last eight opponents, 24-1. Once again Hailey Flannagan and Aubrey Hahn split duties in net to share the shutout.
"As the games go on we're getting better," Solis said. "We've adjusted to playing four in back instead of five, but it's technically three so it's a little challenging in the back, but we have a solid back and Taylor (Fleury), Jenna (Nichols) and Katie (Schoenfelder) are like walls back there."
Wheaton Warrenville South (6-3, 0-2) was coming off a tough 2-1 loss to Downers Grove North on Tuesday but wasn't using that as an excuse, although their legs certainly weren't as fresh as Batavia's were.
"We had no legs left," Tigers coach Guy Callipari said. "I think (Tuesday's loss) took a lot out of them. They played hard. And Batavia is well organized. They played well through all three thirds and were strong in the back and possessed really well tonight. We had to do more chasing then we wanted to and when we were in the area we had to win tackles and I don't think we won enough tonight."
Batavia coach Mark Gianfrancesco felt that the Bulldogs could wear the Tigers down a bit, cognizant that they were playing for the second time in as many days.
"It was more on us to make them chase in the second half and when we did that they struggled with what we were doing," he said. "I didn't sub a lot tonight and a lot of those girls really bucked it up, getting some game shape there, and it's managing the game. We have to do a better job of managing the game."
The Bulldogs still did enough to reach double digits in victories once again, clearing the field as lightning periodically brightened the night sky.
"Winning that way doesn't make you feel any better," Gianfrancesco said. "With five minutes left, you'd like to finish it. That's the way you want to do it."