Naperville North takes ‘Best of the West’ opener in comeback fashion

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Naperville North lost most of its scoring to graduation, so the Huskies are looking for anyone and everyone to step up this fall.   So far, so good.   Naperville North has scored four goals in its first two matches, all by different players, after Marek Jurkiewicz and Brandon Hipp found the back of the net in a 2-1 comeback victory Tuesday over Neuqua Valley on the opening day of the Best of the West Tournament.   “[The scoring] is going to have to be kind of by committee and so far that’s been it,” Naperville North coach Steve Goletz said. “We need guys to find their roles and do a couple things and not try to do too much.”   Hipp is one of those players. The junior, who scored twice in a reserve role last season, stunned the Wildcats (2-1) by scoring the game-winning goal with 2:24remaining in the second half.   Zach Peterson started the play with a throw-in and then freshman Chris Sullivan dug the ball out of traffic in the middle of the penalty area and passed to his right to Hipp, whose cutback shot rolled inside the left post.   “Chris Sullivan did a great job of getting it out and I was off-balance,” Hipp said. “But I looked and saw the left side was open so I tried to shoot it there.”   “It was a great turn from Hipp,” Goletz said. “It was kind of an opportunistic goal where there wasn’t much to it, he turned a defender and he put a great shot far post. It is games like this at the start of the year where you’re grinding and you need guys to step up and make plays.”   The Huskies (1-0-1) made just enough plays in a match they easily could have lost. Naperville North’s shaky defense gave up an own goal in the seventh minute and was broken down countless times by Xavi Ortiz, Ryan Ross and Kas Baladi.   But Marek Jurkiewicz headed home a cross from Peterson to tie the game in the 17th minute and Huskies goalie Christian Robert made six saves, including a tip that deflected a point-blank one-timer by Baladi off the crossbar five minutes into the second half.   “It was a frustrating loss,” Neuqua Valley coach Skip Begley said. “We’ve got to do a better job of getting the ball in the back of the net. We did a good job of breaking them down and had a couple of chances where guys did a good job of getting people opportunities and just didn’t finish. We had the one in front and the goalie ticks it and it goes off the crossbar.”

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