Girls soccer: Adams leads Wheaton Warrenville South over Elgin; SCN also advances
The stage is set.
Wheaton Warrenville South and St. Charles North will meet 6 p.m. Friday at St. Charles North for the Class 3A regional final.
The question remains: Will the North Stars win a 20th consecutive regional title? Or will the Tigers play spoiler to a DuKane Conference foe and win a third straight title themselves?
" ... We don't want to chase the game early [on Friday]," WW South coach Guy Callipari said following the Tigers' 4-1 victory over Elgin in the second semifinal on Tuesday previewing Friday. "The longer the game goes, I think, the better off we'll be."
Tigers standout forward Ashlyn Adams, who scored two goals to spark the run of play early vs. Elgin, thinks the Tigers need to play "[their] game" for Friday's match.
"They're a great team. We played them this year; we lost 3-1 ... they'll play well," Adams said of the North Stars. "We just need to play our game; play together [and] play for each other."
Brooke Ittersagen capitalized on a penalty kick for the 3-0 Tigers lead. Elgin (9-7-2) answered back on an artful rainbow shot for a score by Dahlia Perez about 30-yards out on the far right sideline, but an insurance goal from Lauren Barnett was all the Tigers needed for a relatively comfortable second half.
"Their composure, I think, is what I'm very impressed with," Elgin coach Alicia Knoll said of her team. "I think they had great composure. They didn't feel pressured. They stayed in control of themselves. They didn't put their head down when they got up on us, which I think is very easy to do sometimes. They just kept fighting back, which I think any coach is proud of at the end of the day: When you know that you know your girls don't put their heads down and quit."
St. Charles North (14-3-2) blasted past Streamwood 8-0 in the first regional semifinal. Rian Spaulding, Kaitlin Glenn, Keira Kelly and Abby Vichich all scored goals, while Laney Stark and Bella Najera scored two apiece.
The regional title streak, which began back in the 2002-03 season, is older than the players competing in the game.
"It's a really great program with a lot of tradition and some really great players in this area," Najera said. "So, wearing the shield [North Stars crest] means a lot. Every time you step on the field, you just want to give it your best for the players before us and for the future players ahead of us."
Two of the North Stars' losses this season have come at the hands of Barrington, a perennial Class 3A state title contender, and Neuqua Valley. The Sabres finished the season 5-17-1.
"Every practice, we're talking about sustaining our momentum," Najera said. "So, every practice, we give 100 percent. Because we know, every game, is as important as the last. In the postseason, if you lose, you're out. So, it's really important. We want to stay focused and just keep going."