Girls Soccer: St. Charles North routs rival for regional crown
By Gene Chamberlain For Sun-Times Media May 19, 2012 8:14PM
Updated: July 1, 2012 11:54AM
Teams like to say the regular season means nothing when it gets to the postseason, and for St. Charles North in its regional championship soccer showdown Saturday with crosstown rival St. Charles East this was entirely valid.
The tie the teams played to in the regular season was meaningless, ancient history from the second the match kicked off as the North Stars dominated on their own field in every phase for a 4-0 victory to win their own Class 3A regional and advance to face Geneva in a 6 p.m. match Tuesday at the Schaumburg Sectional.
“Last time it was unfortunate we tied with them, but this time we knew it was our time,” St. Charles North junior defender Kenzie Rose said. “It’s a playoff game. Yes, it’s East, but it’s just another team and we’re that much closer to getting to state.”
Kenzie scored the first goal on a header off a perfect corner kick from Alyssa Brandt just 10:03 into the match, and from there the Stars couldn’t be stopped. They scored three more by halftime, then played defense perfectly the second half in front of senior goal keeper Carly Dietrich.
“They steamrolled us in the first half,” St. Charles East coach Paul Jennison said. “I can’t really argue except to simply say that the best team won today.
“Four-nil down at halftime — it’s very tough to come back from.”
The opening goal on a corner kick was a play practiced repeatedly by the Stars during the week. Left-footed Brandt drilled a liner that shot through to the opposite side of the goal and directly off Rose’s head into the net.
“We’ve worked a few different plays and haven’t run them all, but today was a good day to run them,” St. Charles North coach Ruth Vostal said. “Once we get it into the box on any of those, it’s a matter of who has the heart to fight going up for it.”
With 16:40 left in the half, Natalie Winkates merely gained control of the ball with a little space, turned and fired from 35 yards into the net past Saints goal keeper Bailey Stengler.
St. Charles North (15-5-2) went the header route again three minutes later on a goal by Alex Gage. Then, with 1:25 left in the half, senior forward Lauren Koehl delivered a highlight-style play. She made a steal near midfield, dribbled between two defenders to get them spinning the wrong way and drilled a kick from 20 yards our for the fourth goal.
“She’s been working hard,” Vostal said. “She puts a lot of pressure on herself to score those goals.
“Whenever she has the ball she has two or three people on her. So for her to break free and get one is great to see.”
The Stars outshot the Saints in the first half 13-4 and had five corner kicks to just one by St. Charles East.
Vostal explained the huge improvement over the earlier draw as just the team making lineup and tactical changes in training so they could get into position for a postseason run.
“For us it’s a process to get to where we want to be at the end,” she said. “We watched that video of the match and we’re a completely different team now.”
East finished 13-7-4.
“It’s a harsh lesson to learn on the biggest game of the season that we had our worst game,” Jennison said. “It’s a shame that my seniors went out this way. It really is because they are an amazing group.”