Girls Soccer: Waubonsie Valley escapes Lane with late winner
Updated: March 12, 2012 7:57PM
Shannon Donelson saw the play unfold as though it were captured in slow motion.
“I just ran to the far post and kicked it,” the senior Waubonsie Valley forward said.
Her score off a deflected ball in the 36th minute of the second half proved the difference as the visiting Warriors beat Lane 2-1 in the season-opening game for both schools Monday.
The game-winner was set up by sophomore forward Kristen Dodson. Her blast from the right side deflected off the hands of Lane keeper Ana Hernandez. Donelson blasted in the rebound.
With an accelerated practice schedule and volatile early season weather conditions, the first game is always marked by more questions than answers. “We didn’t want to lose the first game of the season,” Donelson said.
Both teams were seeking answers. The Warriors have captured three of the last five state championships, but coach Julie Bergstrom admits to a lot of uncertainties. Last year’s star forward, Hannah Klancic, graduated and the team’s roster is loaded with talented though largely inexperienced players. The strength of the team is its awesome backline of star junior defenders Jenna Romano and Rachele Armand.
For its part, Lane is the two-time defending city champion. Coach Mike Wasielewski knew in opening up with a suburban powerhouse, the competition level spiked enormously.
Wasielewski has three players that form a powerful cornerstone, junior forward Jasmin Carrera and senior forward Vianey Hernandez. Freshman Sofia Pavon is a potential star who has participated with the US national team for her age group.
At the start of the game, both teams circled each other warily, looking to get a jump. “It was good to play a new school that we didn’t know much about,” Donelson said.
Waubonsie Valley dominated possession time in the first half. Hernandez made four superb saves, including a spectacular block from her knees that preserved the scoreless tie in the first half.
“I think everybody was nervous at the start, but once the game started we did a good job of staying in the flow,” Dodson said. She also assisted the game’s first goal.
In the seventh minute of the second half, Dodson controlled a pass on the right side and crossed a perfectly positioned ball. Sophomore Kristen Brots responded with a devastating scissors kick in one motion she cleanly smashed the through for the 1-0 Waubonsie Valley lead.
In the 15th minute, Carrera forged a tie by scoring on a penalty kick after a Waubonsie Valley player was called for a handball. The game was played with swirling winds that appeared to shift throughout the game.
“The wind was a factor but it wasn’t quite as bad as what we’ve been practicing in,” Donelson said.
Waubonsie Valley escapes with the win, and Lane earns some respect. Lane coach Wasielewski was encouraged though disappointed. “I thought we played okay, but not great,” he said. “We were too tentatively offensively, especially at the start and we didn’t control the ball in the second half the way we were capable of.”