KHS girls soccer team gives coach Parillo his 100th career victory
MAPLE PARK—Coach Scott Parillo didn’t mince words with his Kaneland girls soccer team during halftime of its regular-season finale versus rival Sycamore last Thursday.
The two teams, which had battled to a scoreless tie the day before, were playing for second place in the NI Big East. Third place, he told them, was not an option.
The Knights’ stingy defense carried over from Wednesday, and they did, indeed, lock up second place with a 1-0 victory on an afternoon at Kaneland that honored the club’s three seniors: goalkeeper Jordan Ginther, defender-midfielder Anne Marie Giese and defender Brooke Harner, all co-captains.
“This was huge,” said Parillo, who locked up his 100th career victory. “Yesterday we didn’t play well. We talked to the girls about it. They knew we didn’t play very well. I thought we came out with a little more intensity today. We wanted to at least get second place.
“I’m really proud of the girls. What we’ve done with such a little amount of players is absolutely amazing this year.”
Parillo noted there have been games this season in which the Knights (10-4-3, 6-1-2) dressed only 13 players if there happened to be an injury. And that was the case again Thursday as injured junior midfielder-forward Delaney Stryczek missed the game.
“We only had three subs today,” Parillo said. “Whenever we have an injury, that’s huge to us. We can’t go take from our JV (team) because they only have 16 (players). What we did today was absolutely amazing and it says a lot about the girls and their character.”
Kaneland scored early in the matchup when freshman forward Kiandra Powell took a feed from sophomore Courtney Diddell inside the box, pushed past a Sycamore defender and put a 10-yard shot on net. Sycamore goalkeeper Amanda Cook got her hands on the shot, but the ball trickled past her at 34:40 of the first half.
That goal stood up throughout the remainder of the game. Ginther made seven saves while notching her second straight shutout.
“It (Powell’s goal) really set the tone for the game,” Ginther said. “Everybody came out with a 100 percent effort and we did what we came to do on the field.”
Kaneland finished with 13 shots on goal. Powell had a couple of scoring chances within a few minutes of each other five minutes later, but was turned aside by Cook. Cook also denied sophomore midfielder-forward Emily Grams from point-blank range with 7:35 left in the half after being set up by a touch pass from Powell.
“She (Powell) stepped it up this year. The kids played well today. They’re tired. Two back-to-back 80-degree days, nobody’s used to that this year,” said Parillo, whose team, as well as Sycamore, also had to deal with swarms of nats along the sidelines.
Ginther and Harner, who’s been on varsity since her sophomore year, both used the same word to describe playing their last home game at Kaneland.
“Honestly it’s bittersweet,” Harner said, “but it’s pretty awesome that we just won second place. It’s really special that it’s my last game and I’m never going to be able to play on this field again.”
“It’s bittersweet,” the Purdue-bound Ginther added. “This year it’s a lot of endings, but soon I’ll be starting new beginnings, and I’m excited.”