Inside Girls Soccer
Athlete of the Week
Dennison, a University of Iowa recruit, put her talents on display Monday against Woodstock as she scored two goals and added two assists, all in the first half, in a 6-0 win over the Blue Streaks.
She scored another goal in a win over Grayslake North on April 4.
“She is the most competitive player I have coached in five years,” Jacobs coach Anthony Cappello said. “She is always one of the hardest workers out there, and it shows. She has that drive to win.”
Second gear: Jacobs (3-5) started the season 1-3 while giving up eight goals and scoring only three.
But after spending some more time together outside as a team, the players are starting to trust each other more and more on the field, and it is starting to show in the in-game product.
“We’ve got a new mix of about seven to eight girls that are new to varsity,” Cappello said. “It’s been fun to watch them play and grow into their roles.”
Now, in a recent 2-2 stretch, the Golden Eagles have scored 10 goals while allowing seven. Cappello sees his team taking that next step, which happens to be just in time for the start of Fox Valley Conference play.
“All of the kids have been accepting and coachable,” he said. “They are all learning and are trying hard to get better.”
Red hot: The Huntley soccer team has been a marvel to watch this season. The Red Raiders are an area-best 7-1-1.
In the first nine matches, Huntley has allowed five goals while scoring 19. The Red Raiders have posted six shutouts and have allowed more than one goal only once, which came against Boylan in the Huntley Invitational championship game when they allowed three.
“We know why we gave those [goals] up and how to solve them now,” Huntley coach Kris Grabner said of the Boylan game.
Huntley’s defense, coupled with timely scoring from seemingly a different player each match, is the reason the Red Raiders have been so successful this season.
“That’s what we want,” Grabner said of many players contributing offensively. “It’s too easy to game plan against a team when they’ve got one person that controls everything, and it’s coming from everywhere for us right now.”
The Red Raiders have been a soccer powerhouse since 2007, and part of the reason comes from seeing tough matches early in the season.
Grabner has been insistent upon scheduling tough opponents during the nonconference portion of the schedule in order to get his team ready for conference and postseason play.
“We’ve tried to build [tough games] into the schedule,” he said. “We don’t have those 5-0, 6-0 and 7-0 wins anymore in nonconference because it wasn’t making us a better team. We’ve been working hard to improve our schedule, and we’re seeing that the tough games are getting us ready for what’s to come.”
Grayslake Central at Huntley
4:30 p.m. today
The Red Raiders will look to continue their good play in a Fox Valley Conference crossover.
Cary-Grove at Johnsburg
4:30 p.m. Tuesday
Both teams have gotten off to a good start and will play in an FVC crossover.
– Patrick Mason