Geneva midfielders Catherine Allon and Michaela Loebel each scored a pair of goals as the Vikings defeated West Aurora 6-0 in Aurora on Saturday afternoon.
Despite Geneva (4-0) dominating possession of the ball, West Aurora (1-3) was able to stand their ground for most of the first half. The Vikings were held scoreless until Allon tallied the game’s first goal with three minutes remaining in the first half. The senior scored from five yards out off a perfect corner feed from defender Caitrin Griffin.
The Vikings went into halftime with a 1-0 lead and, most importantly, momentum.
“I knew we needed to get at least one goal before the half ended, just to give us a strong heads up going into the second half,” said Allon. “We knew we dominated most of the first half, we just struggled putting it away.”
The Vikings had no problem putting the ball away in the second half. Allon scored her second goal of the game less than five minutes after halftime, sparking a five goal second half for Geneva.
“I think it was good that we got that first goal before halftime, it kind of opened the flood gates,” said Geneva head coach Megan Owens.
“I think we played better in the second half as a result of that goal. In the first half we were looking to pass off and set up the perfect shot. But in the second half, the girls just wanted to get after it.”
Loebel scored the next two goals for the Vikings. With 33 minutes remaining in the second half, Loebel dribbled through two defenders and shot the ball past Blackhawks goalie Sam O’Brien from 10 yards out.
Eight minutes later, Loebel scored from five yards out to put the Vikings up 4-0 with 25 minutes remaining in the game.
Courtney Lardas and Molly Axen scored the final two goals for Geneva.
“We connected very well today, we found feet,” said Owens. “Kids were making really good runs off the ball, and they were communicating really well. They were doing all the little things right.”
West Aurora played well on defense early in the game despite facing constant pressure from the attacking Vikings offense. However, the Blackhawks just ran out of gas in the second half.
“We were tired and beat up in the second half,” said West Aurora head coach Laura Wagley. “In the first half, we did great and we stuck with them. Then in the second half, we were just way too tired for them.”
I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Aurora Beacon and yourseason.com. It appears here.