Girls Soccer: Sarah Mazur, Emily Lange lead Lyons’ comeback win
Updated: March 31, 2012 4:17PM
Sarah Mazur had only a second to make her adjustment. She went against her own instinct. “I almost always go right with the ball,” the Lyons senior midfielder said.
Mazur took an opposite path.
She wheeled left and blasted a left-footed, 18-yarder center-left of the box in the 35th minute of the second half that propelled host Lyons to a 2-1 victory over Lincoln-Way North Saturday in Western Springs.
The late score, coming with 4:59 to play, completed a stirring comeback that saw the Lions (3-0-1) recover from a 1-0 halftime deficit against a gifted Phoenix team that had allowed just one goal in its first five games. “Normally, you have a lot of girls standing right in front of you there, but there was just one girl in front and I was able to turn and swing away at the ball,” Mazur said.
Mazur’s score was also proved just rewards given she had three other shots on goal that senior keeper Michelle Balcerzak made superb saves against. “They were putting a lot of girls in the box,” Mazur said.
On the game-winner, she angled it perfectly in eluding the grasp of Balcerzak.
Mazur was not alone in playing the hero. Talented sophomore forward Emily Lange knotted the score at 1 by scoring on a drive off a throw-in at the third minute of the second half. “That was a great goal,” Lincoln-Way North coach Mike Murphy said. “She put it in the only spot she could, the side-netting, and it was a great play.”
Lange also made the assist that set up Mazur’s game-winner. “On the goal, I just was able outrun the two other girls and make a shot,” Lange said.
Murphy was pleased by his team’s progress. “We made a defensive mistake on the second goal, and we didn’t have anybody in the middle of the field against her, but we showed today that we can compete with anybody,” he said.
Lyons survived despite playing what coach Bill Lanspeary regarded as a very sluggish start. Lincoln-Way North nearly scored on a header in the opening minutes of the game. They were faster to the ball and controlled possession the opening 20 minutes. “We were very slow coming out of our breaks and on the turn,” Lanspeary said.
Lincoln-Way North (4-1-1) took a 1-0 lead on senior midfielder Jessica Bean’s penalty kick after a Lyons player was cited for a hand ball in the box. Lanspeary said the player was trying to protect herself from getting hit in the face.
“We were frustrated at being down like that, especially giving up a controversial score like that,” Mazur said. “We came out harder in the second half.”
Lanspeary agreed. “As a coach, you don’t like to get down 1-0, but that play seemed to energize us,” he said. “It’s good to know that we showed some resilience against a very good team. That No. 14 [senior midfielder Rita Craven] is one of the best players we’ve seen.”
The victory was crucial for the Lyons in developing momentum as they host West Suburban Silver favorite, No. 6 York, on Tuesday.