CARY – The first goal didn’t faze Cary-Grove.
The Trojans allowed a Huntley goal in the 27th minute of their Fox Valley Conference opener Monday, but C-G responded by scoring barely more than a minute later.
“We weren’t going to stop battling just because [Huntley scored first],” C-G coach Ray Krystal said.
What followed was a barrage of four more Trojans goals for a 5-1 C-G win over Huntley.
Sophomore Jenna Stayart scored a hat trick and added an assist. Avery Nielsen and Kelli Ives scored C-G’s other two goals.
"Everyone worked really hard, especially just being our second game, our first conference game and our first time out on this [home] field," Stayart said. "I was happy with everyone’s hard work and energy."
Midway through the first half, Huntley’s Alyssa Xanos took a shot that she didn’t quite get all of. The senior was upset with herself until she saw the ball was heading right to her teammate, Madissen Gough. Gough kicked it through for the game's first goal, giving Xanos the assist.
That proved to be the only shot that Huntley (0-1-1, 0-1) could get by C-G goalkeeper McKenna Sheehan.
“We scored a goal, took our foot off the gas pedal, and it came back to bite us in the butt,” Huntley coach Matt Lewandowski said.
Stayart scored the next three goals, with assists from Kenedi Jones and Cailtin Scopa, and the Trojans (1-0-1, 1-0) started FVC play on the right foot.
“She’s an intense player,” Krystal said of Stayart. “She’s a high-quality player. She’s a player that will create opportunities. She and her teammates are putting in work on both sides of the ball.”
Stayart scored 14 goals last season as a freshman. Her sister Kelly Stayart, who was the 2018 Northwest Herald Girls Soccer Player of the Year, added 15 goals in her senior season.
Jenna Stayart said it has been an adjustment driving to and from practices without her sister this year.
“We knew where each other was going and moving [on the field],” Jenna Stayart said. “But I’m also really close with all the girls on the team. We’ve all played together and known each other since we were little.”
C-G has an experienced team returning after a run to a Class 3A sectional championship last season. The Trojans added experience, too, in Sheehan at goalkeeper. The senior will play keeper at Missouri next year, but is playing her first season with the high school team.
Her twin sister, Kailyn Sheehan, a midfielder, also will play Division I soccer at Florida Golf Coast. Besides those two, C-G had an additional five seniors in the starting lineup Monday.
“It’s really just a group that has still a lot of work to do, and they’re excited about doing that,” Krystal said. “They’re excited about playing with each other and for each other.”
STAR OF THE GAME
Jenna Stayart, Cary-Grove, so., F
Stayart scored a hat trick and added an assist in the Trojans' Fox Valley Conference opener, a 5-1 victory over Huntley.
5: C-G scored five consecutive goals after surrendering an early Red Raiders goal.
AND ANOTHER THING …
Monday marked C-G’s first win after opening the season with a draw against Lake Zurich last week.
Cary-Grove 5, Huntley 1
Hunt 1 0 – 1
C-G 2 3 – 5
Hunt – Gough (Xanos assist), 27th minute.
C-G – Stayart (Jones), 28th minute.
C-G – Stayart, 35th minute.
C-G – Stayart (Scopa), 52nd minute.
C-G – Kelli Ives, 57th minute.
C-G – Nielsen (Stayart), 63rd minute.
Goalkeeper saves – Huntley: Lovins 6, Franklin 2. Cary-Gove: M. Sheehan 2.