Girls soccer: Cary-Grove still unbeaten after downing Jacobs
Cary-Grove midfielder Kate Larry was not certain a few weeks ago that the Trojans would be in this position.
"To be honest, I'm really surprised," Larry said. "We've gotten so much better as the season went on. It was rocky at the start, but we kept fighting every game. We just keep fighting to the end. We've done pretty well this season."
C-G moved to 8-0 with its 6-0 victory Thursday night at Jacobs in their Fox Valley Conference girls soccer match. The Trojans can win the title outright with a victory Tuesday at Prairie Ridge, which has one FVC loss.
"At the beginning of the year it was harder to play with new girls," midfielder Katie Jannusch said. "But now we're really connecting well. Everyone's just grown together as a team and we've been doing really well."
Larry helped generate some early scoring chances and set up Jannusch for C-G's first goal with 23:20 remaining in the first half, sending a cross from the left through the box for Jannusch to tap in.
Carly Splitt scored late in the half for a 2-0 lead at halftime. C-G opened the second half with 3 goals in the first 10 minutes. Larry scored two of those, the second of which came on Jannusch's assist.
"As a team, you need somebody who gets everybody up and at it, and talking, and once we start talking and connecting it's that much better," said Larry, who does not shy away from being that player. "The more communicating and the more help in the middle, where we can connect for through balls, that helps a lot.
"As the game went on, especially in the second half, we started playing better together and finding feet rather than just kicking it. It was much better in the second half."
Trojans coach Ray Krystal is proud of the unity his team has developed.
"It's all about how they play together as teammates," Krystal said. "The entire team. That's part of our culture, but it's also about their personalities and supporting each other. Those are things we value and we hope it produces success.
"Everyone on the team puts in effort for what they're doing. Their personalities are positive. Kate and Katie are representatives of what our team is like. They're providing leadership and it permeates throughout all of them, whether we're talking about how we're playing on the field or how we're treating each other off the field."
That could be a factor in C-G's ability to win close games. The Trojans have won four one-goal games and two others by two goals. They have allowed only three goals this season.
C-G did not let Thursday's game get tight.
Larry scored at 38:17 of the second half, and Natalie Warren scored off Lauren Passaglia's assist 4 minutes later. Larry scored again at 30:34 and Taylor Pawl finished the scoring with 10:25 remaining.