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Geneva, Kaneland girls soccer find silver lining in rain-filled showdown

GENEVA – The Geneva and Kaneland girls soccer teams waited through a weather delay that pushed back the start of their match, rushed through an abbreviated warmup and eventually revved up their match Monday night at Burgess Field.

Less than 70 seconds later, the sky rumbled, lightning was spotted and the teams were back to their respective sheds.

“I was pretty mad about that,” Geneva junior defender Tory Herbst said. “I kind of just wanted to get going. We were sitting in the shed, everybody was getting all ready and pumped up for the game. We went through all our warmups. We’re all already just soaking wet, kind of ready to just get going, and a minute later, it’s back to the shed to go sit again. 

“It was kind of frustrating but I think we took the [chance] to kind of regroup a few times.”

The weather finally cooperated – some of the drenched fans might have a dissenting view – enough for the teams to fit in their match, a 1-0 Vikings’ victory.

Both teams took something worthwhile from the rainy meeting.

The Vikings won their second straight match after losing five in a row beforehand, and had the opportunity to take aim at a high-caliber goalkeeper in Kaneland senior Jordan Ginther.

Kaneland, meanwhile, will benefit from the experiences of playing larger, highly respected opponents such as St. Charles East on Saturday (a 2-0 loss) and Geneva on Monday, coach Scott Parillo said.

“We’ve got to be quicker with our decision-making, for sure,” Parillo said. “Against some of the teams you have a little bit longer to do it, and other times, you don’t. Facing these two teams shows that you have to make your decisions quicker and you have to have great first touch, and you have to pass and move the ball. It’ll happen.”

Geneva (5-6) scored the night’s only goal with 16:53 to play in the first half when senior forward Amanda Lulek finished a header off sophomore Megan Kozlow’s free kick.

The Knights (3-4-1) never mustered a serious threat to counter as the Vikings enjoyed a healthy possession advantage.

“It’s 1-0, but we dodged some bullets there,” Parillo said.

Geneva coach Megan Owens said facing consecutive quality goalkeepers – the Vikings butted heads with DePaul recruit Lauren Frasca of Rosary on Saturday before seeing the Purdue-bound Ginther on Monday – forced her team to play smart soccer.

“You can’t waste your opportunities, you can’t waste your shots, because she’s not going to give up the easy one,” Owens said. “So that makes you better.”

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