Girls Soccer: Maria Grygleski’s goal keeps Naperville North unbeaten
Updated: April 19, 2012 8:29PM
On a day when two outstanding defenses cancelled each other out, a relative unknown made the difference for No. 1 Naperville North.
Reserve midfielder Maria Grygleski scored her second goal of the season when she headed home a free kick from Jen Korn with 9:34 left in the first half and the host Huskies made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over Lyons Thursday on the opening night of the Naperville Invitational.
It was the first career game-winner for Grygleski, a junior who comes off the bench to play about 40 minutes per match.
“It feels great,” Grygleski said. “It’s awesome to score a game-winning goal in such an important tournament, one of the best in the country.”
Aside from another shot from Grygleski that Lyons goalie Maggie Orlowski made a diving save on, that was the only good scoring chance for either side. The Huskies (11-0) allowed just four harmless shots as goalie Allison Hitchcock recorded her seventh shutout, while No. 9 Lyons (8-2-1) completely shut down North’s dangerous duo of Zoe Swift and Abbie Boswell.
Swift was held to two shots by stopper Ari Kowalski, while Boswell had just one going up against sophomore Catherine King and freshman Liza Gabrek.
“I thought LT was a great, great team across the board,” Naperville North coach Steve Goletz said. “I thought their back line was exceptionally strong. I thought they did a really good job of making it hard for us to play to our forwards’ feet and when [the ball] did find their feet they put a lot of pressure on them. It was a good test for the girls.”
It was also a demonstration of Naperville North’s depth that the Huskies were able to solve a defense that had allowed only four goals despite having their stars shut down.
“This year I think this is probably the deepest we’ve been,” Grygleski said. “You can put anyone from the bench in there and the level of the game will stay the same.”
Kowalski, a junior who has committed to Indiana, came closest to scoring for the Lions, launching a 28-yard shot over the crossbar in the 47th minute. She suffered a bad cut to her forehead after a nasty collision in the box with Naperville North’s Kayla Sharples with 12:30 left, but changed jerseys and returned to the game a few minutes later.
“I definitely thought we were getting an [effective] attack more when this happened,” Kowalski said before heading to the hospital for stitches. “We were really pressuring them so I felt we could get a goal and I just really wanted to be in there for that.
“It was going to take an awful lot, even more than what happened, to keep her out of this one,” Lyons coach Bill Lanspeary said. “Then she goes and wins a head ball. She’s a fighter.”