Girls Soccer: Naperville Central upsets Naperville North to claim Naperville InviteAllison Kincaide (34) of Naperville Central and Hunter Drendel (8) of Naperville North are shoulder to shoulder as they race for control of the ball. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 28, 2012 9:07PM
Paige Silver never saw the field in 100 minutes of play. She was more than a willing participant when Naperville Central coach Ed Watson called her name.
The reserve senior midfielder nailed a penalty kick goal into the left corner that gave the No. 4 Redhawks a thrilling 4-3 shootout victory over top-ranked and previously undefeated Naperville North for a 1-0 victory in the championship of the Naperville Invite Saturday afternoon.
Silver was one of three shooters Watson selected who did not play during either regulation or the match’s two overtime sessions that ended in a scoreless draw.
“I’ve always been very comfortable taking [penalty kicks],” Silver said. “I was cold, but I just wanted to get in and contribute my part. North is a great rival, and there’s a lot of competition between us.”
The game ended when a shot by star Naperville North forward Zoe Swift smacked off the far post. Senior reserve Carly Nussbaum, freshman defender Meredith Tunney and senior midfielder Katherine Short were also successful on their penalty kicks for the Redhawks.
Junior midfielder Cora Climo, senior defender Jen Korn and senior forward Hunter Drendel converted for the Huskies. The momentum shifted to the Redhawks when the Huskies’ third shooter, junior midfielder Maria Grygelski, pushed her attempt wide right.
The Redhawks (17-1-1) captured their first tournament title since 2006 and denied the Huskies in their first championship appearance.
The match lacked scoring though was filled with drama. Naperville North (15-1) dominated the first half, taking advantage of the wind to control possession time and generate several scoring opportunities. Swift nearly scored in the first 10 minutes when her shot bounced off the near post. “We had some good scoring chances right at the start of the game we didn’t finish on,” Swift said.
Naperville North had seven corner kicks against the Redhawks, who failed to generate a single corner kick. Naperville Central’s backline alternated shadowing Swift. “Our 10 players and keeper were aware of where she was all the time,” Watson said. Naperville Central keeper Jill D’Amico made brilliant stab of a second Swift shot.
The Redhawks’ ability to withstand the Huskies’ initial onslaught proved critical.
“They definitely controlled the game and had the better possession time in the first half, but I thought we really took control and really dominated the second half,” D’Amico said. Playing with the wind in the second half, Naperville Central seized the upper hand in the final 20 minutes of regulation.
Short had two shots that required senior Naperville North keeper Allison Hitchcock to make lunging stabs.
D’Amico recorded her 12th shutout of the year. The Redhawks are not going to have the luxury of a long celebration. The teams meet Thursday at Naperville North to determine the DuPage Valley conference title.
“It was not very realistic to think after the four teams we played this week, Metea Valley, Waubonsie Valley, Neuqua Valley and now Naperville Central, that we were going to be able to run the table,” Naperville North coach Steve Goletz said. “Those are four of the best teams in the state.
“We had our chances but we didn’t finish our opportunities, but they also didn’t finish their opportunities. It was a great game, and I’m sure it will be a great game when we play again on Thursday.”