Girls soccer: Vernon Hills blanks Grayslake Central in sectional opener

  • Vernon Hills' Maya Oppenheim, left, pressures Grayslake Central's Lillian Bak during regional girls soccer on Tuesday in Vernon Hills.

    Vernon Hills' Maya Oppenheim, left, pressures Grayslake Central's Lillian Bak during regional girls soccer on Tuesday in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills' Julia Kempf, center left, celebrates her first goal against Grayslake Central with her teammates during regional girls soccer Tuesday June 1, 2021 in Vernon Hills.

    Vernon Hills' Julia Kempf, center left, celebrates her first goal against Grayslake Central with her teammates during regional girls soccer Tuesday June 1, 2021 in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills' Julia Kempf, 12, celebrates her first goal as Grayslake Central's Sara Armstrong reacts during regional girls soccer Tuesday June 1, 2021 in Vernon Hills.

    Vernon Hills' Julia Kempf, 12, celebrates her first goal as Grayslake Central's Sara Armstrong reacts during regional girls soccer Tuesday June 1, 2021 in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Grayslake Central's Adine Mendoza knocks the ball away from Vernon Hills' Grace Guillaume during regional girls soccer Tuesday June 1, 2021 in Vernon Hills.

    Grayslake Central's Adine Mendoza knocks the ball away from Vernon Hills' Grace Guillaume during regional girls soccer Tuesday June 1, 2021 in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills' Rubi Gonzalez tries to take the ball from Grayslake Central's Adine Mendoza during regional girls soccer Tuesday June 1, 2021 in Vernon Hills.

    Vernon Hills' Rubi Gonzalez tries to take the ball from Grayslake Central's Adine Mendoza during regional girls soccer Tuesday June 1, 2021 in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 6/1/2021 9:18 PM

Plenty of combinations and ball possession were an integral part of the Vernon Hills' success in opening the postseason Tuesday as the seventh-seeded Cougars shut out Grayslake Central 5-0 in the Class 2A Wauconda sectional opener in Vernon Hills.

"It was really great to see us get an early goal and follow it up with another one," Vernon Hills coach Mike McCaulou said. "It relaxed our players and kept them composed. From that point on, we dictated play. Our movement off the ball and our possession was very solid. Overall, I was very pleased."

 

Vernon Hills (10-7-1) earned the opportunity to play at No. 2 seed Prairie Ridge Friday at 4:30 p.m.

The Cougars opened with a pair of goals from Kent State-commit Julia Kempf. She opened the scoring in the seventh minute off an assist from Grace Guillaume. Then, she added a goal three minutes later off the leg of Sara Budziak for a 2-0 lead.

"This team has had real good chemistry and do well on the high press," said Kempf, who has 8 goals and 16 assists. "We definitely have been playing well and working out of the back finding our outside backs and playing through the middle. I've been taking on a new role this year, getting crosses and assists for my team."

Freshman Meagan Winckler added another Cougars' goal in the 38th minute off an assist from Jessie Biede for a 3-0 advantage going into halftime.

Vernon Hills added 2 second-half goals from Guillaume. Kempf and Biede picked up assists.

"We play amazing team soccer and we work for each other," Biede said. "We just try to get each other to score goals. We're not selfish at all. That makes us that much better."

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Cougars' keeper Daniella Jarrell made 4 stops and earned her 9th shutout this season. She will be playing basketball and soccer at Loras College (Iowa) in the fall.

Grayslake Central ended its season at 10-14, but learned a great deal being in a lot of games this year.

"It's something to live and learn by," Grayslake Central coach Keith Andersson said. "Vernon Hills was a great team and they will be tough to beat. For us, we've got a young team that played a lot of games and we've got something to build on. I'm really excited for the future."

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