Girls soccer: Stevenson upends Libertyville in NSC showdown
The race in the North Suburban Conference girls soccer season took a different turn on Thursday night, after it looked like Libertyville had been the front-runner.
But rival Stevenson had a different idea meeting up with the Wildcats' on Libertyville's Senior Night.
Gaby Nyc scored the eventual game-winner that led Stevenson past host Libertyville 1-0 in the NSC matchup.
The Patriots (8-2-1) are the only unbeaten team in the NSC at 2-0 while the Wildcats (9-1, 3-1) suffered their first loss of the season.
"We train for every game, because every opponent is dangerous," Stevenson coach PepeJon Chavez said. "It doesn't matter if it's Libertyville, New Trier or Zion-Benton. We prepare for every game. The difference is the ladies on the field.
"What we showed them, Libertyville's record was great, yes we're in Libertyville, but we're playing with 11 girls on the field and our girls were the better 11. I would argue (Libertyville) had great moments of brilliance and an excellent game plan, but we were able to sustain pressure, better pressure in the second half and we came out with the goal that we probably deserved."
Stevenson lost one of its forwards and a goal scorer in Abby Kalou for a period of time in that second half with an injury.
That's when someone else needed to step up for the Patriots. It happened in the 55th minute of play off a corner kick. The ball had a couple of touches, which Bella Chavez led Nyc toward the right side of the penalty area. Nyc got control and found the back of the net for her third goal of the season.
"Everybody is our rivals, every goal is going to be a good goal," Nyc said. "It just happened to be me this game. I scored the game-winning goal. Honesty, Abby has been scoring a lot of our goals. Seeing her go off of the field, someone has to step it up. In that moment, it had to be me."
Libertyville had its chances in the first half, hitting the corner of the goal, another shot off the post and a couple other opportunities. But the Wildcats were turned away by the Patriots' defense and keeper Mandy Meliker (7 saves).
"I was pretty happy with how the team played overall," Libertyville coach Daniel De Paz said. "I think the one thing that Stevenson did well that kind of got us out of our game, was that they challenged everything out there. Whether it was 50/50, any chance to put a body on us, they did it. Whatever it was, we just didn't do that well. We had some chances, first half for sure. Second half, (Stevenson) came out ready to go and we didn't quite match their intensity."