Resilient Lincoln-Way North endures ‘high-stress situation’

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Lincoln-Way North coach Kendra Will didn’t start her normal lineup in Tuesday’s SouthWest Suburban Red match against Andrew.

“The girls asked for it to be a more high-stress situation, and they got one,” Will said.

The Phoenix took a 7-3 lead, only to see Andrew come back to cut the score to 8-6 after three quarters. But North dominated the fourth quarter to pull away for a 13-6 win.

“I think we’re more of a fourth quarter team,” North’s Sam Klosak said. “It’s always hard to go into situations that you’re not really used to. We always have the same seven starters, but I thought it was a good experience (to mix it up).”

Four straight North (9-2) goals broke a 3-all tie and seemingly put the Phoenix in command. Cheyenne DeGraff scored the first two of those goals, followed by a goal from Cassidy DeGraff at the end of the first half and a score from Carlie Petraitis to open the third quarter.

The Thunderbolts (4-6) were down three varsity players, including two starters, due to spring break trips. But they were resilient and came back in the third to make it a game. Goals from Courtney Carter, Rachel Fus and Megan Hofer cut the lead to 8-6 heading into the fourth quarter.

But in the fourth, it was all Phoenix. Petraitis scored two more goals, along with goals from Niki Beringer, Cassidy DeGraff and Klosak to put the Thunderbolts away.

“Give credit to Lincoln-Way North. They executed their game plan,” Andrew coach Mike Kuziel said. “They have a lot of movement, a lot of motion. They kind of wore us out toward the end. It was a good first three quarters, but they just kept coming in the fourth quarter and we couldn’t stop them.”

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