Soccer holds steady
Photo: Senior captain Delaney Stryczek (13) defends the ball early in the first period against DeKalb Monday. Photo by Mary Paulson
KANELAND—Your Lady Knights soccer team, while enjoying a wildly successful 2014 regular season, has shown it can bounce back from what adversity it has faced to keep rolling along.
On Tuesday in Sycamore, the Lady Knights fell to the Lady Spartans 2-0. That was preceded by a physical 0-0 stalemate with visiting DeKalb on Monday. On Saturday, the Lady Knights fell victim to a 3-0 defeat to host St. Charles East for just the second loss of the year and ending their 13-match unbeaten streak. Last Thursday saw a 3-0 win over rival Yorkville, and May 7 had a 6-0 win at Hinckley-Big Rock.
KHS is now 13-3-2 on the season, and clinched at least a share of the Northern Illinois Big XII title at 7-1-2.
Against Sycamore, KHS suffered its first in-conference loss. Sycamore scored once in each half.
Facing the visiting Barbs, opportunities were far between in the first half of play, as sophomore keeper Emily Chapman was able to stop a free kick with roughly 15 minutes remaining in the first half.
Chapman was able to stop a scoring attempt with 35 minutes to go, and a Kaneland opportunity from Courtney Diddell curled away from the goal with traffic swallowing the ball near the box.
A rocket from Michelle Ortiz was stopped for the last good opportunity, while Chapman was able to ground a DeKalb attempt with two minutes left.
“Coach (Scott Parillo) pumped us up at halftime and got us to shoot more. I think we possessed the ball more in the second half,” Chapman said.
Being asked to do quite a bit in her first full year as starting keeper, Chapman feels there still remains a bit of work for her.
“I need to work on one-on-ones with other people. Those are kind of hard to stop,” Chapman said.
Assistant coach Kevin Bickley, who handled postgame for Parillo, knew the matchup with DeKalb would be challenging.
“It’s going to be a tough match,” Bickley said. “In past years, they were always the better team. I think we’re starting to catch them.”
Against the Saints of St. Charles East, Kaneland surrendered one goal in the first half and two in the second to experience defeat for the first time since the season opener in March to Normal West.
Facing Yorkville, Brittany Olson and Heather Ortiz found goals within 10 minutes of each other in the first half, while Holly Collingbourne iced it with 27:22 to go in the match.
In the rout of the Royals last week, Olson scored twice and Taylor Zitkus capped the first half for a 3-0 edge going into the break, while Heather Ortiz, Diddell and Paige Guyton found the net in the second half.
Ahead for the Lady Knights with the regular season concluded: filling a top-seed role in the Class 2A Rosary Regional against No. 4 Rochelle on Tuesday, May 20, at 4:30 p.m.