Girls Soccer: Naperville North downs Waubonsie Valley on Zoe Swift’s hat trickZoe Swift (21) of Naperville North races the ball towards the goal with Tori Christiansen of Waubonsie Valley just an arms length away. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 14, 2012 7:47PM
Scoring three goals on Waubonsie Valley is a herculean feat for any team, which makes what Zoe Swift did Saturday all the more impressive.
Swift scored three goals to lead No. 1 Naperville North to a 3-1 victory over No. 10 Waubonsie Valley in Naperville. It was the first time Waubonsie had surrendered more than two goals in a regular season game since April 13, 2005, when the Warriors lost 4-0 to Neuqua Valley.
Swift’s hat trick gives her 12 goals on the season, one less than she scored during the 2011 season. The first tally was an own goal eight minutes into the contest and Swift was credited with the goal because she was the nearest Huskie to the ball.
Swift had been making a quick run up the middle when the ball was taken away by a Waubonsie defender, who tried to pass back under pressure to goalie Emma Rigby. But the pass was not where Rigby expected it and rolled inside the post.
“I think their defense was unorganized at the time and we just happened to take advantage of it because they had false touches,” Swift said. “So it just went back and it went in. I’ll take it.”
Swift was far from finished. She hit the right post on a long shot a few minutes later and gave Waubonsie’s vaunted defense fits throughout. The junior made it 2-0 with 30:04 left in the second half, scoring in transition off a feed from freshman Abbie Boswell.
“We definitely work on that in practice, trying to transition fast out of the back and get up to as fast and precise as we can,” Naperville North midfielder Cora Climo said. “We try to change it up, try to play it through the midfield, try to find different types of balls, but ‘Bos’ and Zoe are definitely really strong up there so we’re always looking to find their feet or find them over the defense.”
The Warriors (5-3-1) cut the gap to 2-1 when junior Jenna Romano headed home a corner kick from Rachele Armand with 9:10 remaining. It was just the fourth goal given up by the Huskies (10-0).
But Swift finished the game in style, running onto a long pass from Climo and beating Waubonsie’s backup keeper, Taylor Hughes, from a tough angle to complete the hat trick with 30 seconds left.
“Cora played me a perfect ball, slotting the defense,” Swift said. “I just took advantage.
“I’ve been working with my club coach on finishing techniques, so I’m glad I got my three goals today. Last year I just kind of shot it with no purpose. This year I look for angles and where to place the ball and I have to read the goalie better.”
While disappointed with the loss, Romano was impressed with Naperville North’s skill.
“The way they play, they just play a lot of over-the-top balls and we were ready for that, but with such fast forwards they were kind of catching us off-guard a little bit,” Romano said. “We weren’t as prepared as we could have been, but I think it’s definitely something we can learn from and try to improve on.”