Girls Soccer: Lincoln-Way Central blanks St. Charles North 5-0
By Matt Le Cren For Sun-Times Media April 2, 2014 10:38PM
Updated: May 5, 2014 8:32AM
When is an upset not an upset?
When the ranked team you think you’re going to play sends its junior varsity team instead.
That’s what happened Wednesday when Lincoln-Way Central blanked St. Charles North 5-0 on the opening day of the Downers Grove South quad.
The victorious Knights (3-1-2) didn’t do any celebrating and not just because of the cold, windy weather. They were disappointed the North Stars opted not to field their varsity team.
“I just found out right before the game,” Lincoln-Way Central’s Sabrina DiFiori said. “As long as we played good, it didn’t matter.”
The Knights did play well, outshooting the North Stars 21-3 and completely dominating the action. DiFiori scored twice in a three-minute span in the first half and Heidi Killinger added two goals in the second half.
Rhealin Wlos also scored for Lincoln-Way Central, which lost to the “real” St. Charles North squad 8-0 in this tournament last season.
“I wished we would have played the real deal,” Central coach Dan Radz said. “It’s kind of bittersweet, because you sit there and you think it’s the real team and it’s not.”
Radz found out about the switch the day before the game but chose not to tell his players because he didn’t want to jeopardize their preparation.
“We were anticipating that we were playing the real St. Charles North team and I didn’t mention to the girls that this was their JV team because we played a pretty sloppy game on Saturday (a 0-0 tie with Lockport),” Radz said. “So to rebound from that game I thought we did a very good job (Wednesday).”
The Knights put the pressure on from the start, scoring on their third shot when Wlos headed home a rebound 4:25 into the game.
DiFiori scored the most impressive goal of the match, which came on a 22-yard shot from a tough angle on the right wing that sailed over the head of North Stars freshman goalkeeper Leanne Stahulak. DiFiori made it 3-0 at the 13:03 mark with a shot into an open net off a nice cross from Brook Mejdrich.
DiFiori, Killinger, Wlos and striker Liz McNeely were no match for the North Stars, who started five freshman and four sophomores.
“We played pretty good, kept control of the ball the whole game,” said DiFiori, who assisted on Killinger’s first goal. “For our age we’re pretty good.”
The Knights have only two seniors in defenders Brooke Bingham and Paige Proctor. Bingham is injured, while Proctor led a defense that helped goalkeeper Erin Doody, who made one save, earn an easy shutout.
Stahulak made eight saves for St. Charles North, which will continue fielding its JV team the rest of the tournament. The round-robin format continues Thursday and Saturday, with Lincoln-Way Central taking on Downers South on Thursday and Joliet Catholic on Saturday.