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Vikings Find Way To Win

Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2009 by Paul Johnson

By Paul Johnson - Beacon Newspaper

ELK GROVE -- There are many things that teams can simulate in practice. The first truly hot day of the year is not one of them.

The heat sapped the strength of Geneva's girls soccer team in Tuesday's Class 3A Elk Grove Regional semifinal against South Elgin, but the Vikings fought through it for a 3-1 win.

"The heat took a much larger toll on us than I thought it would," Geneva coach Megan Owens said. "We were a little lethargic today. It will be interesting to see if it has any effect on the other teams in the area. We worked through it and got the win, and that's all that counts. Obviously, we've got some things to work on for Saturday's game."

The fourth-seeded Vikings (9-7-3) opened the scoring mid-way through the first half as Demi Miller punched one in. But No. 13 seed South Elgin (8-8-3), despite not having a plethora of offensive chances, came out and tied the game 1:19 into the second half to change the complexion of the game.

"That did renew some optimism," South Elgin coach Tiffany Disher said. "The girls put everything they had on the field today."

Jenna Hollander centered a pass that bounced off of Gina Simone's chest and into the net to suddenly tie the game at 1-1.

"I definitely think that woke us up," Geneva senior Emily Hinchman said. "We talked at halftime about how we have to pick up our intensity and everyone realized that, but once they scored that goal we really began to realize that was what we needed to do. The game was not over yet. We still had a half to play."

From there, the Vikings turned up the offensive intensity and started peppering South Elgin freshman goalkeeper Emily Young with shot after shot. Young made seven saves in the second half alone and allowed the final two Vikings goals.

The crucial goal was scored at the 33:07 mark by Abby Schroeder. Off a corner kick from Megan Spear, both Hinchman and Schroeder jumped for the ball, and Schroeder connected with a header past Young to give the Vikings a 2-1 lead.

"On corners, we usually can get to the ball, but it was nice to finish one," Hinchman said. "Abby was there and she did a great job getting her head on it and getting her body in front. That's what we've been trying to do all year, so it was nice to see."

Hinchman had a set of obstacles all by herself in the game. Just before the introduction of the starting lineups, Hinchman lost one of her contacts. So she had to play the game with one contact in, admitting that she is "pretty blind without my contacts."

That didn't stop her from adding an insurance goal for the Vikings at the 2:07 mark to ice the game.

"She has really poor vision," Owens said. "She played very well for not being able to see well. She's a great athlete and she works hard and always gives her all."

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