Girls soccer: Naperville Central rallies past Metea Valley

  • Metea Valley forward Jordan Lange (22) is mobbed by her teammates after scoring a first half goal against Naperville Central during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville.

    Metea Valley forward Jordan Lange (22) is mobbed by her teammates after scoring a first half goal against Naperville Central during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Naperville Central midfielder Sullivan Schubel (14) is greet by teammates Ella Burke (20) Sophia Skoubis (27) and Molly O'Rear (19) after scoring a first half goal against Metea Valley at during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville.

    Naperville Central midfielder Sullivan Schubel (14) is greet by teammates Ella Burke (20) Sophia Skoubis (27) and Molly O'Rear (19) after scoring a first half goal against Metea Valley at during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Naperville Central midfielder Megan Norkett (24) shoots and scores against Metea Valley during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville.

    Naperville Central midfielder Megan Norkett (24) shoots and scores against Metea Valley during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Metea Valley defenders Addison Wargo (4) and Katy Flanders (21) try to pry the ball away from Naperville Central midfielder Megan Norkett (24) during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville.

    Metea Valley defenders Addison Wargo (4) and Katy Flanders (21) try to pry the ball away from Naperville Central midfielder Megan Norkett (24) during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Naperville Central's Molly O'Rear (19) gets a head on the ball during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville.

    Naperville Central's Molly O'Rear (19) gets a head on the ball during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Metea Valley goalkeeper Julia Straub (1) knocks away a shot during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville.

    Metea Valley goalkeeper Julia Straub (1) knocks away a shot during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Naperville Central's Molly O'Rear (19) gets a head on the ball as Metea Valley defender Addison Wargo (4) puts on the pressure during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville.

    Naperville Central's Molly O'Rear (19) gets a head on the ball as Metea Valley defender Addison Wargo (4) puts on the pressure during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Naperville Central's Grace Granato (23) and Metea Valley forward Lucy Burk (23) battle for a loose ball during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville.

    Naperville Central's Grace Granato (23) and Metea Valley forward Lucy Burk (23) battle for a loose ball during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Metea Valley midfielder Maya Ordaz (8) puts pressure on Naperville Central defender Sophia Skoubis (27) during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville.

    Metea Valley midfielder Maya Ordaz (8) puts pressure on Naperville Central defender Sophia Skoubis (27) during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Metea Valley forward Tyra King (18) tries to move the ball away from Naperville Central's Emma Irle (2) during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville.

    Metea Valley forward Tyra King (18) tries to move the ball away from Naperville Central's Emma Irle (2) during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Metea Valley forward Jordan Lange (22) and Naperville Central midfielder Megan Norkett (24) get tangled up during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville.

    Metea Valley forward Jordan Lange (22) and Naperville Central midfielder Megan Norkett (24) get tangled up during sectional girls soccer Tuesday June 8, 2021 in Naperville. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
By Stan Goff
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 6/8/2021 9:07 PM

The way sophomore defender Ella Burke sees it, her and her Naperville Central teammates have to make up for lost time and might just as well try and have twice as much fun this spring if at all possible.

After the COVID pandemic wiped out last year's soccer season, Burke is making her varsity debut this spring and she's a big reason for the Redhawks' great season, one that was extended after Tuesday's 2-1 defeat of Metea Valley in the sectional semifinals played at Naperville Central. Burke assisted on the game-winning goal against the Mustangs but just as importantly she led a defense that protected the lead against a Metea Valley team that gave its very best all night long.

 

"Last year not having a season was crazy. So for me and the other sophomores this is our first season. We feel like freshmen," said Burke. "But this is absolutely amazing going to a sectional final. This is so cool."

The Mustangs, who close out the year 12-8-1 after a third straight loss to the Redhawks, struck first on Tuesday as Jordan Lange put her team up 1-0 less than four minutes into the game. Lange also had a goal and an assist in Metea's regional title win over Waubonsie Valley on Saturday.

But Naperville Central, looking for its first sectional championship since 1995, answered quickly as Sullivan Schubel buried a rebound with 33:40 left in the first half. Megan Norkett then tallied the game-winner less than five minutes later and neither team scored from there, although both team had chances.

"It was a little nerve-wracking when they got that first goal, but we were keeping our energy up and I knew we were coming back stronger," said Burke, whose team will square off against rival Naperville North in Friday's sectional title.

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The Mustangs, led by speedy attackers Lange and Tyra King, created their share of scoring chances, but managed just one goal against the Redhawks tandem of keepers Trinity Strang and Abigail O'Connor, who each played a half.

"We played really well today. We had lots of opportunities. We just weren't able to put the ball in the net," Mustangs coach Chris Whaley said. "They're a great team. We got better and better as the season went on and we played our best soccer tonight. I'm so proud of our girls, but it's hard to get out of this sectional."

Schubel credited her team's defense for another big night and also downplayed her game-tying score, chalking it up as a right-place at the right-time goal.

"Ella in the back is always amazing and she saved us a lot today, along with Sophia Skoubis and the whole defense," Schubel said. "I think we're really excited now. We didn't get much time together last year but we've fallen into a pretty good rhythm this year and we're playing really well. As for my goal, Megan Norkett took the free kick and I just followed it in. I got pretty lucky."

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