St. Charles North-York showdown ends in stalemate

SHARE St. Charles North-York showdown ends in stalemate

In practical terms, the showdown involving top 10 soccer powers St. Charles North and York had little consequence.

The teams play in separate conferences and their state tournament seeds are already established. Recent history had to be respected.

“Last year we beat them 3-0, and though they have a different team and so do we this year, we knew they’d remember that,” York senior defender Angela Guerino said.

In a game of rapidly changing tactics and chances that never quite came to fruition, the visiting No. 4 North Stars dominated shots on goal and possession though could not solve the No. 8 Dukes’ defense and the teams played to 0-0 draw Tuesday night in Elmhurst.

It was a game of attrition that signaled how many state tournament games are played. Teams did in, and give up little. “At a certain point, it became obvious that we were not going to score, and at that point our focus became not letting them score,” Guerino said. “It was definitely a defensive battle.”

Both teams were hampered by the absence of prominent players. York’s emerging star, sophomore midfielder Alyssa Kovatchis, did not play after sustaining a knee injury in the Dukes’ previous game.

St. Charles North played without two of its best players, senior midfielder Alex Gage and senior defender Kenzie Rose. Senior midfielder Natalie Winkates, who missed the championship game of the Burlington (Iowa) tournament the North Stars lost 1-0 on Saturday, returned. She was active and mobile and she generated four shots on goal.

Her left-footed blast in the 69th minute just curled left of the goal. “I thought we did a good job of playing together and moving the ball, we just weren’t quite able to finish on some of those chances we had,” she said.

Sophomore North Stars’ keeper Shelby Stitz recorded three saves as St. Charles North (14-2-1) posted its 13th shutout of the season. “We go into every game thinking of how to attack and how we want to play out there,” Winkates said. “We were not able to get that second ball and [string] together the passes.”

One advantage to dominating possessing time was depriving the Dukes (10-3-2) of generating any significant scoring chances of their own. “Our whole defense has been focused this year, from the forward and midfielders to the backline in how we possess and attack,” senior midfielder Kelly Manski said.

York’s best scoring chance occurred halfway through the first half. Senior West Virginia-recruit Bryce Banuelos controlled a ball and flicked a sharp pass that sophomore forward Kate Leonard headed toward the net, but the ball just skirted right of the far post.

St. Charles North held significant advantages in shots on goal and corner kicks. The North Stars had one final chance in the closing seconds on a corner kick. The ball sailed beyond the box without a North Star player managing a final shot at the goal.

Senior keeper Annabelle Lansdowne recorded six saves for the Dukes.

The Latest
“Right here and right now, we take this day back,” Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said during the ceremony at police headquarters. “We honor Officer French, who lived, and lift up the lives she touched.”
Before retiring from the road, veteran pop star and his band recap decades of hits.
The estimated $740 billion package heads next to the House, where lawmakers are poised to deliver on Biden’s priorities.
Haymarket Center will inaugurate the first in a series of three-day retreats to support law enforcement professionals who have experienced critical incident-related trauma.
Only one team in the NFL blitzed less often than the Bears in every one of the previous four seasons: Matt Eberflus’ Colts. While the head coach won’t be calling the Bears’ defense, you can bet new Bears coordinator Alan Williams, who followed him from Indianapolis, is strategically similar to his boss.