Girls Soccer: Naperville North wins heavyweight showdown with Neuqua ValleyNaperville North's Cora Climo, right, celebrates her goal and Abbie Boswell, her assist, in the first half against Neuqua Valley Wednesday at North Central College.
Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 21, 2012 10:40PM
Cora Climo knew scoring first was vital. “We always say we want to get the first goal and get the momentum started in our favor,” the Naperville North junior midfielder said.
She scored from five yards out at the four-minute mark of the first half to fuel the top-ranked Huskies to a 2-0 victory over No. 2 Neuqua Valley in the marquee game of the Four Teams Classic at North Central College Wednesday night in Naperville.
Climo’s score was assisted by freshman forward Abbie Boswell.
Boswell drove the left side and crossed a left-footed pass that Climo controlled in one motion. “It was a beautiful goal,” Neuqua Valley coach Joe Moreau said.
“Abbie made a great cross, and I was able to get my foot around for the score,” Climo said.
The Huskies (4-0) posted their fourth consecutive shutout to begin the year. Senior keeper Allison Hitchcock registered six saves. “This was our best game of the year,” first-year North coach Steve Goletz said. “That’s a great team, and they really challenged us at times.
“I thought our backline really played well, and our midfielders really stepped it up,” he said.
Playing without key junior forward playmaker Hope D’Addario, the Wildcats (1-1) mounted several strong scoring opportunities at the start of the second half. Hitchcock stymied the Wildcats’ best chances.
North scored an insurance goal at the 24-minute mark of the second half. Senior forward Hope Drendel smashed in a beautiful header off a corner kick originated by Jen Korn. Christa Szalach headed the ball back to Drendel.
That effectively ended the showdown of two teams nationally-ranked by ESPN Rise. North also beat Neuqua Valley 1-0 in a sectional final that ended Neuqua’s 24-0 perfect season. “I wish we had more scoring opportunities, but North is a great team, especially defensively,” Moreau said.
“We did well when we kept the ball wide, but we tried to go inside. It’s only March,” he said.
As the game ended, Goletz said to Moreau: “Great game. I’m sure we’ll see you again.”