Girls Soccer: Andrew tops Lincoln-Way West 2-0
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media April 17, 2014 9:22PM
Updated: May 19, 2014 2:22PM
Andrew senior Kelly Blyth has quickly developed chemistry with sophomore Nicole Novak.
“My little girl Nicki, she’s always there when we need goals,” Blyth said. “We just play off each other really well.”
The pair hooked up for both of the Thunderbolts’ goals Thursday night, each providing a goal and an assist as Andrew earned a key 2-0 win over Lincoln-Way West in a SouthWest Suburban Red opener in New Lenox.
“This was definitely a huge win,” Novak said. “We know all the teams coming up in conference are tough. It’s big to get a win to start.”
Andrew (6-2-1 overall) jumped to an early lead in the ninth minute when Novak collected the ball with her back to the opposing goal just outside the box and slipped a pass to a charging Blyth, who buried a high shot past West goalie Audrey Pearson.
The Warriors (8-2) responded well from the initial setback and surged late in the first half but had nothing to show for it as Andrew goalie Amanda Roche (4 saves) stopped three Emily Wyskiel shots.
The backbreaker for West came early in the second half. Pearson bobbled the ball out of bounds on a shot that was headed wide, leading to an Andrew corner, and the T-bolts’ dynamic duo struck again.
Blyth sent a cross into the middle of the box, from where Novak beat a defender and finished to make it 2-0 with 34:47 to go.
“It was a really nice ball from Kelly and I just made a move around the defender and put it in,” Novak said.
For the Warriors, it was a crucial error.
“We talked about the snowball effect,” West coach Jeff Theiss said. “Audrey made a mistake, but we still had an opportunity to fix it on the corner. There was no excuse for us not clearing the ball on that corner.
“I thought we had some momentum going into the second half, but then we gave up a silly goal.”
Andrew’s defense, led by Sydney Gountounas, Karli Haubenreiser and Taylor Ollry, blanked a Warriors squad that came in averaging 4 goals a game.
“We had great communication and teamwork, we shifted really well on defense and Amanda played a great game,” Gountounas said. “It was a big win.”
Pearson made five saves for the Warriors.