St. Charles North meets Streamwood,
can't afford to look ahead
By Derek Wolff
As conference play winds down, St. Charles North will need to escape a trap game when they host Streamwood on Thursday.
The seventh-ranked North Stars (13-2-1, 5-0-0), winners of eight in a row, will look to improve to 6-0-0 in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division before Saturday’s rivalry matchup with St. Charles East.
Despite its recent success after winning the Tournament of Champions in Iowa last weekend, North can’t overlook any game at this point in the season, head coach Ruth Vostal said.
“We had a focused practice (Monday),” Vostal said. “We continue to work on our weaknesses as individuals and as a team. We need to be ready to play tomorrow starting with the first whistle.”
Streamwood head coach Matt Polovin praised North’s talent and said his Sabres (8-9-0, 1-5-0) would need to play their best to compete and give itself a chance at a positive result.
“What we need to try to do and neutralize their attack is be able to play at a high level for all 80 minutes,” Polovin said. “I know North is a very good team and loaded up and down their roster. The girls will have to defend as a unit and then counter with numbers if possible.”
The Sabres have gotten phenomenal play this season from senior forward and Drake University commit Tawny Carroll, who’s led the way with 33 points including 19 goals this season.
“Her speed and technical skill is tough to defend,” Polovin said. “She can can also hit shots with both feet with power and accuracy which makes her even more intimidating to go against. Tawny has the respect of any team we play and they try anything possible to stop her she's very deceptive in where you think you stopped her with two defenders she finds a way to race by them and go to goal.”
Streamwood has played close matches against other top teams in the UEC, losing 3-0 to St. Charles East, currently ranked fourth in the Chicagoland Soccer Top 20, and 1-0 to Geneva earlier in the season.
The Sabrers will play their final five games of the regular season over the next nine days, setting the stage for the playoffs.
“I would rather play every few days at this point in the season,” Polovin said. “We still have some injuries were trying to get back 100 percent before regionals and some days off in between would be so beneficial for the girls. The girls know the season is a grind and will still be ready for every game no matter who we play. It's a very young team with no where close the club experience like many of the teams we play especially North, but they have listened well and work as hard as possible every game.”
Hoping to continue its successful run, Vostal said North will lean on its senior leadership while benefitting from a number of underclassmen who’ve stepped up, including freshman midfielder Hailey Rydberg.
“Hailey Rydberg is a phenomenal player,” Vostal said. “She has terrific skill and is a great playmaker. Her vision of the field is not like a typical freshman. She has grown to be physical and own balls out of the air. She has a bright future.”