Girls Soccer: Hinsdale Central in groove after win over West Chicago
Hinsdale Central's Madeline Engelking breaks away from Prospect's Taylor Smith. | Jerry Daliege~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 20, 2012 8:23AM
Hinsdale Central’s young girls soccer team is quickly growing up into an offensive juggernaut.
The Red Devils’ all-underclassman starting lineup struggled to score in a season-opening six-game winless streak, but a 4-1 win Saturday over West Chicago (4-7-1) marked the third victory in a row for Hinsdale Central (3-4-2).
Sophomore Alison Cerny scored two goals and Christa Kuhlman and Casey May had one each as the Red Devils’ offense continued to go from anemic to electric. Of 20 goals this season as a team, 17 have come during the last three games.
“I think everyone is really stepping up our play, and we’ve also been playing a different system (five midfielders),” said Cerny, who has scored five goals herself during the win streak. “ Everyone’s getting used to that and it seems to be working really well.”
Added experience for a team that starts six freshmen or sophomores has been just part of the offensive turnaround.
“It’s getting used to each other, but also movement off the ball,” Hinsdale Central coach Michael Smith said. “For our style of play to work you can’t stand there and watch somebody else dribble. You have to move and anticipate, and that is starting to show forth.
“The girls from the beginning (of the season) did a great job of possessing and keeping, but at the end, look at the scoreboard. We needed to learn when to possess and keep, and also when to go forward and be dangerous. I think the girls are understanding that balance better.”
Kuhlman put the Red Devils up 1-0 with 10:52 left in the first half when her shot was partially deflected by West Chicago goalkeeper Cat Canestrelli, but bounced into the net.
Cerny intercepted a goal kick and fired home a 25-yard blast with 33:41 left to up the lead, and May scored three minutes later on a nice dribble into the box and low shot past a charging Canestrelli.
After a goal by West Chicago’s Shelly Molskow denied the Red Devils’ shutout bid off a scramble in front with 9:57 left, Cerny regained her team’s momentum with 6:43 to go on the rebound of a May shot.
Two other Red Devils (Darby Moran and Meghan Schick) clanged shots off the crossbar in the strong offensive performance.
“We’ve definitely been raising the intensity level in practice,” Cerny said. “In our training sessions we’ve been taking it a lot more seriously, and that’s been really good.”
“They’re realizing this is a team, let’s play together,” Smith said. “We’ve been doing things off the field with things like pasta parties to get that social level that translates on the field. And at the same time they’re competing. Raising that level of training has galvanized them, where they know their teammates are making them better if they work harder too.”