Girls soccer: Libertyville clips New Trier in battle of unbeatens
A big decision on the coin toss made all the difference on the field for Libertyville on Saturday afternoon.
Libertyville coach Daniel De Paz won the toss at midfield and decided to play against the gusty winds for the first 40 minutes. The Wildcats responded with a pair of goals in the second half with the wind in their favor as they got past host New Trier 2-1 in a nonconference girls soccer match in Northfield.
With the victory, Libertyville remained unbeaten at 6-0, while New Trier lost its fist match and dropped to 4-1-3.
"We decided to weather that storm first," De Paz said. "We took the wind in the second half. We were down, it was tied and then we got the lead. It really didn't matter."
The Wildcats have been able to get some positive results with recent wins over Barrington and Lake Forest.
"Realistically, we have more than half the team that's new to varsity this year, with a number of them that haven't played a varsity game," De Paz said. "There's a number of teams in the area and in the state that are in the same deal of not playing last year. We're just getting everyone in there and getting them some minutes. Hopefully, we can stay fresh and healthy."
Libertyville played the match without two of its starters, Payton Nolan and Sally Grace Rogers.
"Even though we were down two starters," De Paz said, "it really didn't matter to the team. It was an opportunity of playing another game. We're just grateful to have a chance to play."
New Trier applied some pressure in the first half with the wind and managed a goal off a Morgan Fagen corner kick, which was scored by Annie Paden near the back post in the 28th minute.
The Wildcats' defense and keeper Hannah Vieth (9 saves) punched a couple of shots over the crossbar.
Libertyville tied the match at 1-1 in the 47th minute, when Abby Gordon scored from 35 yards out off a Lauren Rocco assist.
Then, Lanie Szatmary scored the eventual game-winner off a Jenna Krakowski corner that carried to the back side of the goal in the 70th minute.
"I was just going to the outside of the post, because a lot of times Jenna is really good of kicking it back there," Szatmary said. "I was just waiting for it to get there and it just landed perfectly. I thought (the keeper) might get a hand on it. But you just have to wait and see what happens. It was my first goal, being big in a game like this one."
"The wind was huge and it's tough to play," New Trier coach Jim Burnside said. "I would take a 90-mph wind out here with sleet and ice pellets as long as we're playing, as compared to last year. The wind was an obvious factor, both teams had it and we both made adjustments to it."