CRYSTAL LAKE – The Dundee-Crown girls soccer team started another match flat and on its heels and coach Sebastian Falinski doesn’t know why.
“That’s the one thing I can’t figure out,” the coach said. “We’re just very inconsistent in the way we play. Some games we can come out and play the way we did in the second half today, and other times we lay an egg like the first 20 minutes.”
The first 20 minutes of the match played at Crystal Lake Central was dominated by the Tigers and was the main reason why the Tigers escaped with a 4-3 victory Tuesday night.
The ball rarely left the Tigers’ offensive zone during that time and constant pressure from the athletic forwards put the Chargers in an early 3-0 hole. The scoring was led by Tigers midfielder Meghan Mannix. She scored twice in the match’s first 15 minutes and was assisted by Riley Hudak both times on aggressive centering passes.
Katie Beck also scored for the Tigers (1-0-1) in the first 15 minutes.
“We’re just used to playing with each other,” Hudak said. “We’ve been practicing with me being on the outside and then crossing [the ball]. It’s been working for us.”
The Chargers (1-6) didn’t record their first shot on goal until the 14-minute mark and didn’t record another until forward Franki Scarpelli found the back of the net late in the first half.
After D-C got on the scoreboard, the team started to show more and more life as the game wore on. The Chargers were able to flip the field and play in their own offensive zone for the first time with consistency and headed into the break with momentum even though they were down 4-1.
“We just told them to execute the things we’ve been talking about,” Falinski said. “Just the fundamentals, challenging 50-50 balls and connecting passes. We thought the first 20 minutes [we] were kind of timid and shy and we couldn’t get a rhythm. It makes a difference when the girls wake up.”
The second half was all D-C, led by midfielder Jill Wiechmann. She scored twice in the half and put three balls on net as she proved to be a handful for the young Tigers defense.
“Jill is workhorse and she’s been doing that for the last couple years,” Falinski said. “She just works incredibly hard and good things happen.”
As Wiechmann carved up the Tigers’ defense, their own defense shut down the Tigers explosive scorers. It just wasn’t enough and came too late.
“Considering this is the second time we have been able to play on a full field, I’d say it was pretty good,” Tigers coach Jay Schwarzrock said. “We executed what we wanted to do in the first 20 minutes but we went away from that. [Jordan Fryer] on D-C really shut down the middle of the field and we failed to make certain adjustments.”