Waubonsie Valley uses early blitz to claim Lemont Cup

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Looking to earn another Lemont Cup title, Waubonsie Valley was determined to put away the host Indians early in Saturday’s championship match.

“We just wanted to get as many goals as possible in the first half so we could get a lead and not have to press as much in the second half,” the Warriors’ Kristen Dodson said.

Dodson made sure her team accomplished that goal, scoring and adding an early assist as Waubonsie scored three times in the first 13 minutes en route to a 3-1 win over Lemont.

Dodson headed home Jori Romano’s cross five minutes into the match to open the scoring for the Warriors (15-3-1).

“It’s been a while since I got a header for a goal,” Dodson said. “It felt good to finally get one. It was a great ball from [Romano].”

Two minutes later, Dodson sent a ball into the box where Kristen Brots went up for it. Brots collided with Lemont goalie Kelly Fritz (nine saves) but was able to direct a header towards Tori Christiansen, who scored into the open net.

Brots got in on the scoring, finishing off a Dodson pass for a 3-0 lead with 22:08 left in the half.

The Indians (13-3-2), who made the championship game for the first time in the 10-year history of the tournament, played well the rest of the way, but couldn’t recover from the rough start.

“We gave up two goals on crosses that we should have handled better, then on the third goal I think we had a bit of a pity party,” Lemont coach Rick Prangen said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the girls that were out there in the second half, though. I thought they worked their socks off for us.”

Lemont broke the shutout thanks to an own goal in the second half as the Indians’ Kim Walsh struck a shot that was deflected in by a defender.

In the semifinals, the Warriors got goals from Jenna Romano and Paige Filipek to top Sandburg 2-0 while Lemont edged Hinsdale South 1-0, winning a shootout by a 4-3 count.

Fritz made two key saves in the shootout.

“My adrenaline was going so high,” Fritz said. “I didn’t even think about it. I just got kind of lucky.”

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