Girls soccer: St Charles East, St Charles North draw
Updated: April 24, 2012 9:32PM
Soccer coaches like to remind their players they need to play all 80 minutes.
St. Charles East coach Paul Jennison is thankful his players listened as a Carly Pottle header with 10 seconds left in regulation helped the Saints salvage a 1-1 draw in Tuesday’s visit to cross-town rival and UEC River Division foe St. Charles North.
Aside from the rivalry factor, the late goal left East’s fans and players cheering as if they managed a victory. Not preserving the lead gained from a first-half goal and a stellar penalty kick conversion save by North Stars keeper Carly Dietrich left the home fans subdued. In reality, North remained a notch ahead of their rivals when it comes to the UEC River race. The North Stars now stand 3-0-2 in league play and 9-2-2 overall while the deadlock moved the Saints’ ledgers to 3-1-1 and 9-5-3.
“I looked up for a split second and saw Carly on the far side and just did my best to get her the ball,” said Clara Stoffel on her assist pass. “This is definitely the best assist I’ve ever had. We’ve worked so hard all season, so its good to get the reward of not losing this contest.”
“I was in the right place at the right time,” Pottle noted with modesty in regard to her 12th goal of the season. “Darcy (Stoecklin) had a great through ball to Clara and she gave be a perfect pass, I just had to get my head on it.”
Unlike IHSA postseason play or some other leagues, the UEC allows ties to stand without any additional overtime or a shootout.
“Good things happen when you keep playing and this was one of those games we played with a lot of heart right to the end,” Jennison said. “I’m proud of our effort and that we were scrappy for all 80 minutes. I hope this is the win that really let’s them go forward with confidence.”
Early in the first half the home North Stars got the big confidence booster when scoring leader Lauren Koehl registered her team-best 11th goal of the year. Just 10:18 into the match, Koehl pivoted and blasted a 17-yarder from right of center that found the back of the net.
“Basically I was just shielding the ball, turned and struck it hard, just like we do in practice,” Koehl said. “It was an early goal and the mentality is usually that puts you up, but you have to be strong all the way to the end. Giving up an equalizer like this is definitely a little tougher loss, because there’s no time or opportunity to erase it.”
North escaped having to negate an East equalizer with 28:50 left to be played after the North Stars were whistled for a handling the ball violation. The Saints’ Anna Corirosi’s penalty kick conversion was solidly stopped by North goalie Dietrich.
“Honestly, it was more of a reaction than anything else,” Dietrich said. “Yesterday we worked on penalty kicks and I made a lot of saves, so that hard work paid off.”