Girls Soccer: Lincoln-Way North outlasts Andrew
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media May 21, 2013 9:08PM
Andrew's Sydney Gountounas (10) slide tackles Lincoln-Way North's Brenna Stremlau (11). | Paul Bergstrom~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 23, 2013 6:34AM
The play seemed so harmless the Lincoln-Way North coaching staff wasn’t even watching.
When an Andrew miscue produced a rare scoring chance in a defensive struggle Tuesday night, though, Unique Manns took advantage.
Manns’ goal, after a failed Thunderbolts clearing attempt, made the difference in the latest intense battle between the SouthWest Suburban Red rivals, as North held on for a 1-0 victory in a Class 3A Andrew Sectional semifinal.
Andrew defender Emma Peele and goalie Kaitlyn Kosary collided while chasing after a ball in the box. Manns was the only Phoenix player in the area, but she stuck with the play the whole way and ended up with a shot into an open net.
“I didn’t think anything was going to happen there,” Manns said. “I saw (Peele) shielding it, and I guess she didn’t realize I was on her back, because they ran into each other.
“It was nerve-racking. It was an open goal, and it was pretty much the only chance we had the whole game. If I missed it, I would have beaten myself up.”
She didn’t miss, though, and her goal sent the Phoenix (15-3-5) into Friday’s championship game against top-seeded Sandburg. The teams played to a 0-0 draw in the regular season.
Andrew finished 15-5-1.
North won in its typical fashion, playing smothering defense and finding a way to score. This goal, though, was certainly unique.
“You teach your girls to run through the ball and Unique did it,” North coach Mike Murphy said. “Give credit to her.
“As much as you want to say Lincoln-Way Central or West is our rival, Andrew’s been our rival. They came out hard. We knew it was going to be a battle.”
Becca Morris, Brenna Stremlau, Leigh LaRocco and Valen Manns led a Phoenix defense that pitched its 15th shutout of the season. Bethany Dombkowski made one save.
“Our defense works really well together,” said LaRocco, who played through an ankle injury.
Andrew, which got two saves from Kosary, had a golden chance with 14:30 left in the match as Karli Haubenreiser made a strong rush down the right side of the field and crossed the ball to Lauren Bialas, who got a great look in the middle of the box but fired high.