Girls Soccer: Naperville North rolls in showdown with Neuqua Valley
Updated: April 27, 2012 9:51PM
Abbie Boswell has the look and manner though hardly plays like a typical freshman.
Entering a loaded Naperville North soccer lineup, the forward has proved repeatedly that she has the talent, toughness and drive to succeed against elite competition.
Boswell scored a goal that provided Huskies an early advantage and distributed a key assist for junior Zoe Swift’s go-ahead score as No. 1 Naperville North scored three unanswered second-half goals, knocking out No. 8 Neuqua Valley 4-1 in the semifinals of the Naperville Invite Friday at Naperville Central.
The victory marked the Huskies’ second win over the Wildcats this year.
Boswell scored 32 seconds into the game when she controlled a ball from junior midfielder Cora Climo. It was her eighth goal of the season. “The first goal was just a scrappy goal, I got a foot on it and was able to make a play,” Boswell said.
“We knew that Neuqua is a great team, and we had to get a lot of shots off.”
Neuqua Valley (13-4-2) adjusted to the Huskies’ early score and controlled possession and created several scoring opportunities. The Wildcats broke through in the 26th minute on sophomore midfielder Talise Romain’s header off an assist by junior midfielder Gianna Dal Pozzo.
“In the second half, we were trying to create energy and control the ball, especially because they’re so good offensively and play so well in the air,” Romain said. “We had some scoring chances, and we made some nice plays and passes but we could not quite string it all together in order to make scoring plays.”
Naperville North (15-0) seized control in the 46th minute as Boswell broke through the Wildcats’ interior and advanced the ball to Swift, who one-touched and flicked it past Neuqua Valley freshman Hannah Parrish. “I saw an opening and I just took it,” Boswell said.
Swift’s goal, her 15th of the year, emphatically put in the Huskies in control. Naperville North put the game away by scoring two insurance goals in the final nine minutes. Both goals originated on free kicks by Climo. In the 71st minute, junior midfielder Christa Szalach alertly re-directed Climo’s kick to senior forward Hunter Drendel, who punched the ball in. In the 76th minute, Szalach punched in a rebound off after Climo’s free kick deflected off Parrish.
Naperville North survived a gauntlet of beating Metea Valley, Waubonsie Valley and the Wildcats in a four-day stretch. “Neuqua is the most technically skilled and talented team we’ve played all year,” Szalach said.
Naperville North coach Steve Goletz said the familiarity with the Wildcats eliminated the predictable. “We all know each other, and have played against each other, so there are no surprises,” he said. “We got that early goal, but after that, we were shaky and they really took it to us. I told the girls we just had to go out and outplay them.”