Geneva, St Charles North battle to draw
Updated: September 20, 2011 9:44PM
Tuesday’s Upstate Eight River battle between Geneva and St. Charles North was a case of two defenses which bent, but never broke.
While the host North Stars had a decided advantage in overall attempts as well as shots on frame, the Vikings had a stellar night from Steve Soderstrom to produce the 0-0 draw.
While North stands 8-3-2 overall, the North Stars are still after their first division victory at 0-1-1 while Geneva now sports a 1-1-1 UEC River mark and a 5-4-1 record.
“My hat’s off to Geneva and to their keeper,” St. Charles North coach Eric Willson. “He was awesome. And give their No. 9 (Kevin Higgins) for doing a nice job on keeping Tyler (Davis) in front of him.”
Late in the opening half, Soderstrom rushed to the top of his box to thwart a potential North Stars fast break and in the second half there were two occasions that required either back-to-back saves by the senior keeper or in one instance, a stop by a defensive teammate and then his own save.
“Obviously we wanted the victory and bragging rights, but it’s still good to get a 0-0 tie versus a quality team like North,” Soderstrom said before admitting his concern over a torn pectoral muscle in his right shoulder suffered just two days before. “Thankfully it didn’t prove to be a problem, but I was worried.”
Geneva coach Randy Estabrook was equally relieved.
“Steve came up huge for us, especially in the second half. Some people might say we got lucky in back, but with Steve, we expect that kind of result. It’s nice to have an eraser like him in back.”
It was the third shutout of the season for Soderstrom while his counterpart and friend, North Stars goalie Garrett Creasor, has eight clean sheets to his credit.
“We’re good friends but I’d still prefer to have the only shutout tonight,” Creasor said. “Our defenders did a good job holding them in check and not giving them too many shots. The bottom line for all of us is to keep that zero on the scoreboard for our opponent.”
Helping the North Stars compile a 22-7 tally for overall attempts were a number of balls blasted well over the goal, but the hosts also had a 9-3 edge in shots on frame.
St. Charles North has a week to prepare to host crosstown rival East while Geneva welcomes Waubonsie Valley on Thursday for a UEC crossover contest before a visit to the Saints.