girls’ soccer team turned a tie into a huge win Tuesday night at Adams Field.
The Warriors staved off a wild finish to hold onto a 2-2 tie with . By virtue of a better Central Suburban North conference record, Deerfield was able to come away with the conference title.
“Every time they play us and we play them it is battle,” Warrior Coach Rich Grady said. “No one wants to give in. I was happy that we got the tie with a number of ours starters out.”
The tie gave Deerfield its first conference title since 2006. The Warriors were able to claim the championship based upon the conference record of 3-0-2 while Highland Park finished 2-0-3. A win is worth three points and a tie one in the standings.
“It’s weird,” Grady said. “We just won conference and no one is celebrating. They are mad because we did not win the game. Long term I think that it’s good attitude-wise.”
Deerfield (7-3-8) came within centimeters of not being able to have that conference title because of a play in the final 30 seconds which was described as a “beautiful mess” by Highland Park Coach Kate Straka.
Schwartz Nearly Wins It for Giants
Highland Park’s Samantha Schwartz stared it by taking a shot that was saved by Deerfield’s . The ball bounded out to various Giants, who all kicked it at the open goal and the ball was knocked away by Deerfield defenders Leah Heller and Kerry Glass.
As the ball dribbled along the goal line, Highland Park’s Lauren Daly came away with it and hit the post with her shot. She then went to rebound it in and Sarah Schweinfurth deflected it away.
“The whole bench was on their knees just waiting for a big cheer and it just didn’t bounce our way,” Straka said. “It was one of those things and luck was not on our side tonight.”
“I have no idea how that ball did not go in,” Grady said.
Deerfield appeared to be in complete command early in the game as the Warriors jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
Emily Kellow handled a long pass from her sister . Emily Kellow then dribbled past a Highland Park defender on the right side and delivered a wicked shot from 20 yards out into upper left corner to make it 1-0 with just under 23 minutes left in the first half.
“It was a good pass,” Emily Kellow said. “I got around the girl. I just made a touch to the left and then shot it with my right foot.”
Emily Kellow had a hand in the Warriors’ second goal. The freshman passed back to Hannah Rosin, who then drilled a 25-yarder to make it 2-0 with 19:31 left in the half. It was Rosin’s fourth goal of the season.
Rosin Squares Up to Score
“I was calling for it,” Rosin said. “Usually sometimes the pass back gets lost and we have a habit of kicking it over the goal. But this time I squared up and set my foot and I hit it and it went into the corner.”
“I thought we had a great start tonight,” Grady said. “Then we made some silly mistakes and let them back in the game and they just kept coming at us.”
Down 2-0, Highland Park (10-5-6) went on the attack. The Giants began to move up their midfielders and defenders to attack the Warrior defense.
It paid dividends with 11 minutes to go in the first half when Schwartz drove hard to the net and Bradford’s save went over the end line to force a corner kick. From there, Stephanie Bailen drove the ball into the box where Keely Dee headed it into the net to make it 2-1.
Highland Park continued its onslaught in the second half and finally came away with the equalizer when Schwartz drilled a 40-yard shot into the net to tie the game, 2-2, with 33 minutes to play.
“I knew I was at the top of the box and I could take the shot,” Schwartz said. “I took my time and made sure I got something on it.”
Both teams had chances for the game-winner in the final minutes.
Highland Park’s Cara Gutnayer passed to Dee, whose 20-yeard shot was stopped by Bradford with just under four minutes to play. Deerfield came back moments later on a corner kick from Amanda Kellow to Emily Kellow, whose shot to the far post was knocked away by Dee, who was there guarding the net.
“It was just fun to be a part of,” Straka said.