Girls Soccer: St Charles North surges past Bartlett
Updated: March 20, 2012 8:44PM
Scoring quickly and consecutively to start the second half was the key to St. Charles North’s 4-0 shutout of Bartlett in an Upstate Eight Conference crossover match Tuesday.
The host North Stars broke a scoreless deadlock just 1:58 into the second half as Lauren Koehl dribbled across the upper portion of the penalty box to create enough space to slot a 15-yarder from right of center inside the left post. Another 4:03 elapsed before Kenzie Rose’s pass led to a seven-yard strike by Lisa Manski for a tally that certainly felt like a dagger.
“I saw Kenzie’s pass and noticed their defensive line wasn’t holding their positions, so I just ran up to get a flick on it and it was enough to get past the keeper. It felt awesome to go up two since the first half did not go our way,” Manski said. “At half, we talked about keeping the ball on the ground and for everyone to just calm down, play a smarter possession game.”
While the wind was with St. Charles North for the second half, it was the passing and touches that were more of a factor for the North Stars’ offense, although the gusts certainly made it difficult for Bartlett’s defense to get the ball out of its half.
“We talked at half about how we can’t control the wind or the field conditions, the surface was hard as a rock, so our emphasis was to be the first to the ball, have a quality first touch, and keep possession,” North Stars coach Ruth Vostal said. “I’m happy with the way we scored our goals, but I want to see us do more to create chances.”
While St. Charles North evened its record at 1-1 with the victory, the Hawks had their ledger leveled at 2-2 and Bartlett coach Heather Thomas had to admit the contest became a learning lesson.
“Going into the first half we knew we needed to put some in early because going against the wind in the second half would be a challenge. So being tied at half was a little disappointing,” Thomas said. “With a small squad, the lesson in the second half was on the importance to play together as a team and not give up as an individual. If someone else makes a run, since we’re short-handed we have to recognize that and cover for a teammate who has to get back in position.”
In the opening half, one of Bartlett’s bright spots was the goalkeeping of Natalie Grodzki, who made a series of notable saves, including a stellar one-hand tip over the crossbar off a curving corner taken by Kelly Manski. St. Charles North goalie Carly Dietrich’s only save also came in the first half when a wind-aided bounce required her to fist the ball over the crossbar.
“Natalie certainly had some outstanding saves and she was the reason it wasn’t an eight or nine to nothing contest,” Thomas added. “She was absolutely fantastic and did all you could ask of a keeper.”
Unfortunately even the best keeper will succumb to the odds and that was the case as seven of the North Stars’ 12 shots on goal came during the second half as the hosts amassed a 16-4 advantage for overall attempts and 12-1 edge in on-target shots.
Kelly Manski earned an assist on Ashlyn Walter’s five-yarder from the middle which made it 3-0 just over eight minutes into the second half. Unlike the first unassisted goal, Koehl capped the scoring when she headed a cross from Alyssa Brandt in order to gain control of the ball and then buried a 12-yarder.
“That second goal just kind of happened and I was a little fortunate to have my header land at my feet,” Koehl said. “The first goal I found some open space and just got it on frame.”