JOHNSBURG – Every good team has one – that player whose name doesn’t always appear in the box score or on the stat sheet but does all the little things needed for her team to win.
For the McHenry girls soccer team, that player is Alexis Morales. Morales led the Warriors to a 3-1 Fox Valley Conference crossover victory over host Johnsburg on Thursday.
Although she doesn’t do much of the scoring for McHenry, the match against Johnsburg (2-3) was an exception. Only eight minutes in, Morales took a pass from Avalon Senn-Raemont and got the ball past Skyhawks keeper Amy Majercik to put the Warriors up, 1-0.
The score remained the same until the 35th minute when this time Senn-Raemont received a perfect pass from Morales and tapped it just outside the reach of the outstretched Majercik, who finished with three saves.
McHenry (4-1) dominated the first half, and Johnsburg coach Rob Eastland had seen enough.
“We came out so flat in the first half, and the team needed a little talking to,” Eastland said. “The desire and attitude wasn’t there, and I wanted them to know I wasn’t happy. I didn’t think we really needed to make any adjustments, I just wanted them to play like I know we are capable of.”
Eastland’s message was received. The Skyhawks looked like a different team in the second half.
Five minutes into the half, Johnsburg cut the McHenry lead to 2-1 after a perfect corner kick by Allie Layton was put past Warriors keeper Gracie Holmes by Madeline Hauck.
The young Skyhawks spent most of the second half in the McHenry end of the field but couldn’t get another goal on the scoreboard. Holmes finished with five saves.
With five minutes remaining, it was the combination of Morales from Senn-Raemont again that put the game out of reach at 3-1.
“My second goal was huge because Johnsburg had caught up and was playing real well in the second half,” Morales said. “This was a great win for us.”
This was McHenry’s third match in the past four days and Warriors coach Greg Eiserman was happy to get another victory.
“Johnsburg is a good team that is well coached and has a lot of talented players,” Eiserman said. “We are banged up and pretty short-handed right now. Alexis (Morales) was huge for us again today. She’s basically playing on one leg and gave it her all. I’m proud of how the team has played this week.”