Girls Soccer: Burlingon Central survives in triple overtime
By Steve Nemeth For Sun-Times Media May 19, 2012 10:55PM
Updated: July 1, 2012 11:54AM
Burlington Central and Crystal Lake Central made the most of the excellent weather Saturday night by playing into a third overtime before the host Rockets claimed their own Class 2A Regional plaque with a 3-2 triumph.
It was also the kind of night that left many speechless aside from the yelling and cheering demonstrated by Burlington Central, which improved to 16-6-2 going into its appearance against Prairie Ridge at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the semifinals of the Belvidere Sectional.
“There are no words to express the greatness of how it feels,” said Camille Dela Cruz, whose leaping six-yarder decided the outcome 2:46 into the third OT session.
“This was for the seniors; this was for everyone at BC. The key was focusing on keeping possession and playing much tighter with our passes. That got us the goal we needed.”
Courtney Andrew’s fifth assist of the year was the chip past that Dela Cruz was able to get to just before out-rushing Tigers goalie Caitlyn Dayton could stop the match-winner. That strike enabled Dela Cruz to net her 15th goal and move ahead of teammate Maddie Stoneman (14) for the team lead.
It also made moot three excellent opportunities Burlington Central had to end the contest earlier.
“It was a last-second decision to try to go the opposite way,” Dela Cruz said in regard to a penalty kick opportunity she had with 14:32 left in regulation after the visitors were whistled for a trip inside the penalty box. “I usually shoot PKs and it didn’t work out.”
With 1:27 remaining in the first extra session, Lindsey Puccio had a header carom off the crossbar. Within 40 seconds Burlington Central was back on the attack and Dela Cruz had a 16-yard direct free kick ricochet off the crossbar. Teammate Rachel Griffin fired wide right on a putback attempt.
Griffin did score net her initial varsity goal just 1:37 after the opening whistle thanks to Cali Andrew’s sixth assist. Not only did Crystal Lake Central answer that goal, the Tigers quickly took the lead.
Madie Edwards had a five-yard header from the left side into the right-side netting off a corner kick by Stacey Wolfgram at 4:26. A minute and 25 seconds later, Edwards used Katie Beck’s set-up for a seven-yarder from left of center.
That 2-1 lead held up through halftime and all the way until 16:29 was left in regulation when the Tigers were whistled for handling the ball. Puccio’s conversion became her eighth goal of the season.
“We had difficulty getting the final pass or the final part of a run until the last 10 minutes of regulation, but thankfully we started making those runs in overtime,” Burlington Central coach Mike Gecan said. “Courtney had a nice ball to find Camille. This is our first (girls) regional title in eight years and the girls have really worked hard for it since last offseason to tonight.”
Crystal Lake Central, which had endured a six-match losing streak before regrouping to put together a five-match win streak, finished with a 9-8 record.
“I couldn’t be prouder of these girls and I don’t have the vocabulary to express what they’ve done,” Crystal Lake Central coach Jay Schwarzrock said. “We took a beating from the other side of the Fox Valley and despite losing six straight, instead of getting down, they stuck with it and came together to be a much better team down the stretch.”