Girls Soccer: St Edward claims regional crownSt. Edward's Allison Kruk (11) celebrates her goal with Jordyn Madden (33) during the second half at Genoa-Kingston High School in Genoa, Ill., on Friday, May 11, 2012.
| Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media |
Updated: May 11, 2012 9:18PM
St. Edward advanced to the state semifinals last year, and on Friday the Green Wave looked like a team ready to repeat that feat and maybe more.
St. Edward won its second straight Class 1A regional title with a dominating 4-0 win over host Genoa-Kingston. Allison Kruk led the way for the Green Wave with a pair of goals and an assist.
St. Edward advances to the Harvard Sectional next Tuesday to play the winner of Saturday’s Stillman Valley-Byron game.
“I don’t like to compare this year’s team with last year’s,” St. Edward coach Tim Brieger said. “Even though we lost just three starters from last year, this team is a whole different entity. The changes from last year created a whole new dynamic.
“Last year’s team liked to stretch it out and boom some kicks down the field. This team moves it around more. They’ll take it right at a defense and go right through them. Both ways work, so we’ll see what happens.”
In Tuesday’s 2-0 semifinal regional win over Elgin Academy, the Green Wave struggled to get scoring opportunities early on. That was not a problem on Friday. St. Edward (17-7-2) exploded for three goals in the first 11 minutes.
The first one came with just over two minutes played. Kathleen Duffy drilled a 35-foot free kick into the net following a handball violation by G-K.
With just over 30 minutes left in the first half, the Green Wave added another with Chelsea Gnan scoring on a pass from Kruk. Moments later the two the combined on the Green Wave’s third goal, only this time it was Kruk scoring on an assist from Gnan.
“After the Elgin Academy game we focused in practice on moving the ball more quickly up the field,” Brieger said. “We wanted to make something happen right away today.”
Kruk scored her second goal with 28:34 left in the game on another assist from Gnan.
“We had a positive attitude going all day,” Kruk said. “Scoring early was a priority and we came out with a lot of energy. (Winning a regional title) feels even better the second time around. Last year we got a chance to go downstate and we want to do it again.”
The Green Wave defense held G-K without a shot on goal despite missing center-midfielder Monica Ramirez and centerback Rena Renallo, who had prior commitments.
“I was a little worried coming in because those two are really important starters for us,” Brieger said. “But Megan Kearney did a great job filling in for Rena. It was the first time she has started on defense and she was able to mark and shutdown their best offensive player.
“Kelly Tripicchio shifted over to take Monica’s spot and did a great job. Then we needed to rely on our bench a little more and Kailey Durkin, Mary Kate Nastali and Page Dystra came in and gave us some big minutes.”
Paige Gannon recorded her 16th shutout of the season to set a single season Green Wave record.
The Cogs finished the season 9-11.
“We got caught standing back on that first goal,” G-K coach Randy Tate said. “Then when they scored again I think we had a little letdown. But I was happy with the way we continued to play hard and fight the rest of the way even when we were down.”