Girls Soccer: First-half surge keys Plainfield North upset of Metea Valley
Updated: May 4, 2012 9:41PM
Sara Stevens was almost sheepish about admitting it. Then the truth seeped out.
Plainfield North was ready to make a statement in its marquee game against Metea Valley. “We kind of did,” she said, “because we knew they were ranked higher than us and they were a really good team.”
The sophomore forward scored two goals as the No. 10 Tigers stunned the No. 6 Mustangs by scoring three goals during a five-minute, first-half barrage for a 4-0 victory Friday night in Plainfield.
“We were kind of nervous about this game because we knew they were a really good team and had played well against some other really good teams,” Stevens said.
Plainfield North started out the aggressor and never let up, scoring all its goals in the opening 22 minutes of the match. “We got the outcome we wanted in the first 20 minutes,” senior star forward Callie O’Donnell said.
The symbolism was important given the teams are both part of the Metea Valley Class 3A regional, part of the loaded Naperville North sectional, and could face each other again if the seeds hold out. Metea Valley’s three previous losses were all 1-0 scores to Waubonsie Valley and No. 1 Loyola and No. 3 Naperville North, respectively.
Plainfield North (16-3-1) registered 10 shots in the first half, putting Metea Valley keeper Megan Geldernick on her heels. After the Mustangs thwarted the Tigers’ opening foray, the Handwork sisters collaborated on a beautiful opening goal.
Sophomore midfielder Heather Handwork drove the ball down the left sideline and made a cross that junior forward Ashley Handwork directed past Geldernick in the 12th minute for the Tigers’ 1-0 advantage.
Stevens took charge from there. She scored on a penalty kick in the 17th minute after she was tackled from behind. “I wasn’t sure I’d get it past her, she’s a goalie known throughout the state,” Stevens said of Geldernick.
Plainfield North maintained the pressure and Metea Valley uncharacteristically fell apart. “I thought after the penalty kick we just lost our composure,” Metea Valley coach Pat Feulner said. “Without the penalty kick, it’s a lot easier looking at a 2-0 score at halftime instead of what it was.” Geldernick made several superb saves of her own to hold the score down.
As she often does, O’Donnell seized the opportunity to put the Mustangs away. Just moments later, she created a breakaway on a through ball that Stevens used to blast through for the 3-0 lead
O’Donnell bolstered her Player of the Year credentials by drilling a ball that arced over the outstretched arms of Geldernick and sailed under the crossbar for the final margin. The Wisconsin-Milwaukee recruit increased her remarkable output to 27 goals and 18 assists. “We were all connecting out there,” she said.
Metea Valley (14-4) recovered from the shock of surrendering four goals to dominate possession time and create its own scoring chances in the second half. Senior midfielder Kristina Tomaras had a ball hit off the crossbar. Plainfield North senior keeper Emily Brodict, who played the second half in place of senior starter Paige Polonus, made a spectacular diving stop of another Tomaras shot.
“I don’t know why we started out so slowly,” Tomaras said. “We came out in the second half, not caring about the score and we played much better and they didn’t get hardly any shots on goal.”