New Trier has a blistering and lethal attack that has averaged nearly six goals per game in the opening week of the season. Deerfield coach Rich Grady knew he had to neutralize the Trevians’ firepower.
Grady altered his normal formation by deploying a fifth defender.
“It was a wrinkle we wanted to show them,” Grady said.
The Warriors stymied the Trevians for most of the game, but couldn’t keep them at bay for long as New Trier escaped to a 3-0 Central Suburban crossover victory Monday night in Northfield.
The Trevians had a 15-3 shot differential and dominated play, though to no avail early. But senior forward Maddie Mulford found a crease in the 74th minute.
Taking a beautiful through ball from junior Bina Saipi, Mulford ran past two defenders on the right edge and nailed a 14-yarder beyond the reach of Deerfield star keeper Bailey Bradford that ignited the Central Suburban crossover victory.
Mulford, a Bucknell recruit, sustained her smoldering start by scoring her fifth goal of the year for the Trevians (4-0). New Trier put the finishing touches on the dominant performance by scoring twice in the closing moments.
Saipi alertly pounced on Molly Cahill’s rebound off the crossbar to record her second goal of year. Her assist on Mulford’s goal was her fourth of the year. Highly-regarded sophomore midfielder Kelly Maday blasted in a short ball in the 80th minute to punctuate the victory.
With nine starters back from a sectional finalist, New Trier coach Jim Burnside has great expectations for this year’s edition.
“When we jell we have the pieces to be great,” he said.
Mulford’s finishing touch on the Saipi throughball was a textbook score
“With that formation, they were trying to counter us or just frustrate us, and Bina played a great ball and their keeper edged out and I was able to get it past her.”
The Warriors (2-2-1) were playing their fourth game in five days. Grady has his own ambitions for a team that returns eight starters from a 16-win Class 2A sectional finalist. With her 16 career shutouts, Bradford appeared on the verge of swelling that number. She made seven stops.
The Mulford score changed everything.
“Once they got the first goal, we had to take some chances offensively to try and score and that made us vulnerable,” Grady said. The Warriors are playing five freshmen and are missing their top offensive threat, senior forward JoElla Guagliardo, who’s out with an injury.
Freshmen midfielder Sydney Barber laced a ball just right in the first half that proved to be Deerfield’s best scoring chance.