Girls soccer: Spohn, Geneva have plenty to smile about
Ysabel Spohn's favorite personal quote is "be the reason someone smiles today."
Spohn, a Geneva senior defender, had plenty to smile about on Tuesday. She scored her first career varsity goal in the Vikings' 3-2 win over visiting Wheaton North.
"It's my first year on varsity and even scoring a goal and playing with these girls for the first time, it just feels really good to all have everybody as a team work together," Spohn said. "And, just have my back."
"They are the reason I smile, so that's why I like that quote," Spohn continued.
The Vikings (5-2, 4-2) have just four seniors on their roster -- Kelly Anderson, Faith Stellick, Angela Peri and Spohn.
"Usually, there's a lot more seniors," Spohn said. "Playing with a younger team really [allows] us how to teach the younger kids [how to become] leaders. I'm just so grateful for this team."
For Anderson, the season takes on a bit of a double meaning that has brought some historic gains for the program. This season, the Vikings have earned wins over Batavia and St. Charles North. It was the first win against the North Stars for the Vikings in a decade.
"Just because we have four seniors, it means making the most of it obviously for them," Anderson said. "But also the underclassmen, this is the energy that we want them to continue with for the years going forward so that this program's tradition just doesn't end here. And that we keep going forward and they can remember this for the rest [of their lives].
"I still remember the big games as a freshman, and just the feeling [you get] is something that you always remember. I'm so happy that we've had games like against North, [Wheaton North] and Batavia. It [was my] first time beating Batavia in my four years. North for sure."
That energy translates to even playing against those opponents on club teams.
"Then you can finally cap it off and take teams on by surprise," Anderson said. "They don't expect us to with our underclassmen to come out this hard. And, then we get that result, the energy and see in everyone here, it's energizing."
Anderson, who will be attending Indiana University to study accounting and finance, is even hoping to come back in the future to cheer on her younger teammates.
"I'm just really excited for the legacy we have going forward," Anderson said.
The Falcons (5-1-1, 3-1-1) took a 1-0 lead into the half after an initial Vikings clearing attempt instead found the outstretched leg of Addison Falco. Just five minutes into the second half, Spohn returned a rebound off Falcons goalie Hannah Lang to equalize.
Geneva freshman Evyn Schokora gave the Vikings a brief lead three regulation minutes later, but Olivia Moreno rocketed a goal from 25 yards out to tie it once again.
Wheaton North and Geneva traded a handful of fruitful scoring chances on a series of rushes, but attempts veered just wide of the net. Schokora later broke through for her second goal of the game to ensure the Vikings victory with 6:12 remaining in the contest.
Wheaton North's Julia Simon had one final chance on a rush with 4:27 left, but just missed wide and the Geneva defense was able to keep the scoring opportunities to a minimum the rest of the way.
"We were fortunate to be up 1-0 at half. I would tell you, overall, Geneva did a good job of beating us to the ball consistently tonight," Wheaton North coach Tim McEvilly said. "They won 50-50 balls; they were more effective working off each other than we were ... we just didn't rise to the occasion. Wasn't for a lack of opportunities. We had four or five opportunities that we usually kind of finish and we just didn't do it."
"They had the energy. They do a great job. It's a young team, but many of those kids, they wok off the ball extremely well," McEvilly continued. "We didn't consistently communicate like we should be doing."