Plainfield North, Handwork sisters easily handle Minooka

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Plainfield North is trying not to get too confident this early in the season, but there’s no denying, through five games, the Tigers are playing at an extremely high level.

“We’ve done really well so far,” North’s Brooke Polonus said. “We’ve had some really good wins and we’re definitely building confidence.”

The host Tigers continued their hot start Thursday with a dominating performance against a shorthanded Minooka squad, rolling to a 4-0 win in a Southwest Prairie opener.

Heather Handwork scored twice for the Indians, whose 5-0 start also includes wins over traditional powers Sandburg and Naperville Central.

Polonus and Ashley Handwork added a goal each.

After failing to capitalize on several early chances, the Tigers broke through with 2:57 left in the first half when Sara Stevens’ cross found Heather Handwork in the box. Handwork misfired her initial shot attempt, but the ball came back to her and she put it away.

“It was really big to get that before halftime,” North coach Jane Crowe said. “If we go into halftime 0-0, it’s a totally different game and it’d be a big confidence builder for [Minooka].”

The Indians (2-2), who were missing five starters due to spring break, and lost starting goalie Mallory Schade to injury late in the first half, hung tough thanks in large part to Jill Hetfleisch, who moved from forward to defender and anchored the back line.

“To be in the game as long as we were, I’m really proud of the kids who played [Thursday],” Minooka coach Chris Brolley said.

North, though, pulled away in the second half.

Polonus headed home Kaela Leskovar’s corner kick for a 2-0 lead 87 seconds into the half.

Ashley Handwork scored off a Sam Elster cross before Heather Handwork’s second goal with 3:47 left closed the scoring.

Schade and Lily Benig made three saves each for Minooka.

“Starting off the season like this is really exciting,” Heather Handwork said. “We’ve just got to keep it going.”

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