Photo: Kaneland soccer defeated East Aurora, 3-0, on April 11 at the West Aurora Blackhawk Invitational, won by the host school. Here, Madi Jurcenko executes a backward head pass. Photo by Patti Wilk
Kaneland soccer enjoying unbeaten stretch
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In spite of injuries, Kaneland soccer is remaining a tough team to battle.
Needing to rely on underclassmen more than ever with the injury bug infesting the roster, the Lady Knights still suited up and bested East Aurora on April 11, tied Dixon on Saturday and trounced Marengo on Monday.
That accompanied a 1-0 win over the visiting Lady Barbs on Tuesday.
The current stretch leaves KHS at 5-3-1 (2-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).
Kaneland traveled to the Blackhawk Invitational stomping grounds of West Aurora High School to finish the tournament. West Aurora’s plaque went Kaneland’s way two seasons ago, and sent the Lady Tomcats reeling with a Madi Jurcenko goal just three minutes, 29 seconds into the contest.
“It’s very crucial, because it puts you ahead of the game,” Jurcenko said. “When you have that one step ahead in the beginning, it helps you play better.”
With a younger lineup of which Jurcenko is involved, winning seems to be the cure to any jitters.
“It definitely helps when we win because we’re such a young team and we haven’t played together that much, scoring really helps our confidence.”
Melissa Bohorquez found the net on an assist from Katie Taylor with 13:51 to go in the half for a 2-0 lead.
Finally, Emily Eckert put a cap on the afternoon with a goal due in part to a Nicole Hanlon assist with just 2:19 remaining in the contest.
Despite West Aurora winning the tournament for a second consecutive year, KHS coach Scott Parillo saw encouraging developments, almost by necessity.
“That first goal was huge,” Parillo said. “That doesn’t always happen, and it kind of set the tone. I was real happy. Fifteen of these players are freshmen and sophomores, and that’s pretty impressive.”
In NIB-12 crossover action, the Lady Knights benefitted from a goal from Brittany Olson on a Courtney Diddell assist 14 minutes, 19 seconds into the match, but surrendered a second-half goal to the Duchesses—one of three shots on goal to deadlock matters.
Against the Lady Indians on Monday, Katie Taylor broke through with two goals with 27:17 and 10:40 left in the first half, and set up the final goal by Taylor Opperman with 5:30 to go in the half.
The lone goal against DHS was an Olson goal with a Jurcenko assist with 31:43 left in the contest.
Frosh/soph action included the Lady Knights improving to 4-3-1 with a 1-1 mark in conference play. They have a 5-1 win over Marengo to thank for that, with Emily Grams finding the net four times, and Eckert scoring once.
Kaneland was set to partake in more crossover action, this time on Thursday, April 19, in Ottawa.