Girls soccer: King's late PK gives Metea Valley win over Naperville Central, repeat DVC title

 
By Lou Nunez Jr.
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/9/2023 9:38 PM

Simple with the possibility of complicated.

That was the scenario facing the final round of DuPage Valley Conference soccer play Tuesday evening.

 

Starting with reigning champion Metea Valley's home bout with Naperville Central, if Chris Whaley's team could successfully defend the Mustangs Stadium pitch it would complete the DVC slate a perfect 5-0 and earn its second straight DVC crown.

However, if Troy Adams' Central squad could leave the north side of Aurora victorious it could earn a share of the title.

In addition, Naperville North could join both the Mustangs and Redhawks in a potential three-way tie if it won at Waubonsie Valley located on the south side of Aurora in conjunction with a Central victory.

However, as both the defending DVC and Class 3A state champions, Metea has developed a successful mentality that has allowed it to both survive and thrive the challenges it has faced thus far this spring.

Metea Valley did it once again rallying from behind to best the visiting Redhawks 2-1 to repeat as DuPage Valley kingpins on a penalty kick by senior forward Tyra King in the 82nd minute that broke a 1-1 tie.

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"Going down 1-0 was no surprise. We're playing against a good talented team (in Naperville Central)," Whaley said. "We're getting everybody's best shot. You're always going to get that around here with such teams, but I'm super proud of our girls for fighting back."

The victory also extended the Mustangs' unbeaten streak to 32 straight games dating back to a season ago.

This contest seemed to be more like a chess match between the two combatants. After a scoreless first half, both teams saw multiple chances go by the boards early in half number two until Naperville Central (8-4-2, 3-1-1) got on the board first in the 66th minute when Isabella Brozek found Lauren Thorne who them booted the ball in for the game's opening goal.

The hosts (14-0-4, 4-0-1) would even the score thanks to a successful drive by junior forward Lucy Burk in the 70th minute.

"My coach told me to start cutting back (on the pitch) and realized they started (to) double-team me down toward the end line. So I decided to cut it back (where) I saw an open corner (of the goal) and I just hit it in," Burk said of her game-tying score.

On King's game-winner, the Northern Illinois recruit encountered a similar vision of the net.

"I took it (the penalty shot) with some confidence and I aimed at the corner and it went in," she said.

Tuesday's action may have also served as a possible preview of another clash between the two teams in a sectional semifinal at East Aurora on May 23. That will happen if both top-seeded regional host Metea and No. 4 seed Central who travels to West Aurora emerge from their regional assignments which begin May 16.

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