Prairie Ridge beats Cary-Grove in shootout

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CARY – Prairie Ridge players had been in the situation they were dealing with Thursday night against Cary-Grove earlier in the week, going to penalty kicks.

This time, unlike Tuesday against Huntley, the Wolves came through, going 4 for 4 on PKs to win the shootout, 4-2, in a 1-0 victory over the Trojans in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division play.

The two teams battled through 100 scoreless minutes of regulation and overtime, with each team’s goalkeeper making quality stop after quality stop.

The Trojans had the first shot in the shootout, but Alex Airhart’s shot went high to open the door for the Wolves.

Allyson Walsh knocked in the first goal, and after C-G’s Kate Michie tied the shootout, Erica Walsh scored for Prairie Ridge (6-5 overall, 1-1 FVC Valley).

C-G (6-5-1, 0-2) had a chance to tie it again, but Candace Cunningham fired high on her kick against Wolves keeper Brooke Laibly, who finished with 11 saves.

Melissa Bear nailed the next shot to give Prairie Ridge a 3-1 lead. Jenni Phillips scored for the Trojans, but Cassie Warton finished the match with a soft shot past C-G keeper Morgan Olsen.

Prairie Ridge coach JC Brown was pleased with his team’s shooting in the penalty kick shootout, especially when one of his players came through when the team really needed it.

“We learned from Tuesday,” Brown said. “I asked if someone wanted to step up and take a shot. A freshman, Melissa Bear, said that she would take one, so she was confident, stepped up and made it. That 4 for 4 was great.”

Brown added it was good to get a win against a quality team like C-G.

“Cary is always coming at ya,” Brown said. “They are always physical, on the ball at your feet. We would have liked to have put one into the back of the net in the first 20 minutes but we hung in there defensively. We had lost in PKs on Tuesday, so it was nice to get a win.”

Olsen made eight saves for the Trojans, including one in overtime where she was able to grab the ball with two Prairie Ridge players in front of the net before one could knock in the winning goal. C-G coach Ray Krystal liked that his team played better than they did in their previous match.

“They stepped up and responded well to a team that puts in a lot of work,” Krystal said. “It was an increase from our last outing. There was a definite difference.”

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