Girls Soccer: Metea Valley wins regional title
Updated: May 18, 2012 8:50PM
Revenge is supposedly a dish best served cold, but in girls soccer, it’s that much sweeter in postseason as evidenced by Class 3A regional host Metea Valley’s celebration following a 1-0 regional championship battle with Plainfield North.
Friday’s one-goal nail-biter came exactly two weeks after the now No. 5-ranked Tigers dealt Metea Valley its worst loss of the season by a 4-0 tally.
But avenging that loss means the No. 11 Mustangs now advance to the Naperville North Class Sectional for a 7 p.m. Wednesday semifinal against a No. 19 Lockport squad which also gained revenge via a 1-0 win that knocked out No. 2 Naperville Central.
Both Metea Valley (now 17-4-0) and Plainfield North (18-4-2) boast formidable offensive players, but it was a pair of unlikely heroines leading the way for the Mustangs.
The scoreless defensive battle was broken with 18:31 left in regulation when Metea midfield reserve Abby Adams beat the defenders to a through ball. The junior got the right touch for a deflection that enabled sophomore Paige Velez to boot a 12-yarder that squirmed under North goalie Paige Polonus and trickled into the net.
“Not sure who played the ball through, but I knew the defender was coming on and I was just determined to get it toward goal,” Adams noted in regard to her third assist. “Luckily, Paige was there to finish it.”
“I saw it deflect and just went for the shot aiming for the corner,” Velez added. “I thought I kicked it hard enough but even with it slowly rolling in, it felt so great. It’s my first game-winning goal in a really big match, so it’s definitely going to be one of the most special (goals) I’ll always remember.”
Metea owned a 16-4 advantage for overall attempts and a 7-4 edge in on-goal shots with goalie Megan Geldernick notching her 10th solo shutout and helping the Mustangs register their 14th clean sheet.
“We just didn’t play hard enough and they looked like they were here to win a regional,” North coach Jane Crowe said. “They won the 50-50 balls, the majority of the loose balls, so it’s disappointing from our end, especially to have such a great season end without us giving everything we had.”