Girls Soccer: Fast start paces Minooka to victoryMinooka High School's Jillian Hetfleisch (1) celebrates the first of her three goals against East Aurora High School on Monday, May 7, 2012 at East Aurora High School. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 7, 2012 10:08PM
East Aurora and Minooka both have girls soccer teams with similar records, yet they are heading in opposite directions with one match remaining before the postseason.
Minooka welcomed three players back from injury in the past week and incorporated them into Monday’s 5-2 nonconference win at East Aurora.
Meanwhile, East Aurora was missing its top two goaltenders — forcing a freshman into her first varsity start — and another starter, in addition to four girls leaving the team throughout the season.
The result was Minooka racing out to a 5-0 lead in the first 30 minutes before the Tomcats settled in and outplayed the Indians over the rest of the match.
“A good start is always good,” Minooka coach Chris Brolley said. “We wanted to do some things today, play the ball wide, do the little things right today. So the first 20 minutes, we did that. They won the second half. In the end, they executed better than us in the second half.”
Early on, however, it was all Minooka (5-8-3). Junior Jillian Hetfleisch had a hat trick by the 17:59 mark of the first half. Senior AnnMarie Bachmann and sophomore Marisol Galvan also added goals as the Indians jumped to a commanding 5-0 lead.
From there, with Minooka incorporating the returning players into the lineup and substituting liberally with so little time remaining before the playoffs start next week, East Aurora (5-11) took advantage. In particular, junior Andrea Garcia took it upon herself to keep the Tomcats in the game.
Garcia scored 20 seconds after Minooka made it 5-0 and then added a goal off a penalty kick with 19:33 left in the second half to cut the lead to 5-2. She now has nine goals on the season.
“She’s fast and she can rip the ball too,” Brolley said. “We had to switch a defender back there, put a sweeper back on her just to make sure she had two people on her. She’s a good player. You sneak a couple of goals back there, and you’re in trouble.”
East Aurora plays Metea Valley in the regular season finale Tuesday, and Tomcats coach Matt Shirk is hoping for some players to return from injuries — as well as calling up some players from the freshman team for reinforcements.
“We’ve been a night and day team this year,” Shirk said. “One minute we’re playing really good soccer. We hung in there with Neuqua, South Elgin and Bartlett. And the next thing you know, we’re not playing very well. The injuries and the girls quitting kind of demoralizes the team. You have to play 80 minutes. We still sometimes don’t show up for 80 minutes, and that’s what’s killing us.”