Girls soccer: Burlington Central falls 1-0 in FVC championship game
Crystal Lake Central freshman midfielder Brooklynn Carlson battled two Burlington Central defenders to get the ball to classmate Olivia Anderson, who had just a little space just outside the goal box.
Anderson touched the ball once with her left foot, figured, "Why not?" and fired a left-footed shot.
"I just decided to rip it," Anderson said. "I kind of just went for it. I didn't think it was going in and saw it go right over the goalie and I was like, 'Yes!'"
The Tigers' defense, solid all the way, withstood Burlington's second-half pressure and as CL Central held on for a 1-0 victory Saturday in the Fox Valley Conference Girls Soccer Tournament championship.
CL Central (12-3) was the No. 3 seed coming into the tournament, Burlington (11-6-1) was No. 4.
"Those two, Brooklynn and Liv, were battling this game and battling last game (the semifinal win over Prairie Ridge)," Tigers coach Sarah Fack said. "It was good to see Liv get that goal.
"We came out with some intensity, they did as well. It was a good battle, back and forth, they didn't let us have it easy. They are a really good team. Coming in we knew we had to play really well if we wanted to win this."
Burlington applied good pressure in the second half. Its best chance came with 11 minutes remaining when Isabella Hartman passed in front to Haley Lindquist, whose header bounced off the left post.
"I like the way we responded to being down, 1-0, but what I've found out pretty much this season is whoever scores first is usually winning the game," Rockets coach Jessica Arneson said. "That was our goal and we didn't cover it today. We did better than what we were (seeded) going into this. We were the No. 4 seed and got second. I'll take that and we'll turn our sights to what's up next."
The winner of Tuesday's match in the Class 2A Freeport sectional between No. 5 Hampshire and No. 4 Sycamore plays at No. 1 Burlington at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
CL Central, a No. 4 seed in the Class 2A Wauconda sectional, hosts No. 13 North Shore Country Day at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The Tigers played a strong defensive game in front of goalkeeper Nora Ryan, who had six saves. Often, when the Rockets looked like they might get a good scoring chance, defender Maddie Anderson was there to clear the ball away from trouble.
"Our other center back Sadie Quinn made a big impact as a freshman," said Maddie Anderson, Olivia's senior sister. "We played more compact (with the lead). Our center mids played more defensively because we had a one-goal lead.
"It's crazy because we have nine freshmen on the team. We came into this season thinking it was a rebuilding year, but then all the freshmen pulled through and now we're coming together when it's the most important."
Fack agreed with Anderson's assessment.
"When we play with intensity and play together, that's when we've done well," she said. "We have all the pieces, it's that coming together. We have a ton of new players and we're clicking at the right time, going into the playoffs."