They keep rolling: The Mustangs move onto super-sectionals after a shutout of Naperville North

Jordan Lange taking it all in and celebrating with her team after scoring the goal to clinch Metea’s first sectional championship in girls’ soccer

Max Berglind

Jordan Lange taking it all in and celebrating with her team after scoring the goal to clinch Metea’s first sectional championship in girls’ soccer

Max Berglind, Sports Reporter

Number one Naperville North going toe-to-toe number two Metea Valley. The top two teams in the state squared off for a sectional title this past Friday at Naperville Central. The dynamic junior duo of the March and May Metea Female Athletes of the Month: forward Tyra King and midfielder Jordan Lange have combined for 34 goals up to this point. On the flip side, the Naperville North defense allowed ten goals in 24 games. 

Sophomore Lucy Burk, Lange, and senior Jocie Grabow found the back of the net in three of those instances on May 3 in a 3-1 victory on May 3.

Defense was the focus in the first half for both sides. Naperville North kept the Mustang attack out of the goalie box, minimizing the number of possible scoring opportunities. Metea would do the same with the Huskie offense, cutting off passing lanes with simplicity.

The first half ended in a 0-0 deadlock. 

Both offensive sides were a little more prevalent, getting a few chances now and again but coming up short. 

Senior goaltender Julia Straub came up immensely in a few spots, knocking the ball away on a few Huskie corner attempts. 

With under ten minutes remaining in the half, the Mustangs moved the ball well into the Huskie end. With 9:12 left, Lange connected with a perfect pass from Burk and put it in the top shelf of the Huskie goal, beating the goaltender and breaking the tie. The one-timer from the top of the goalie box sent an ocean of the faithful black and gold into euphoria as they could smell a sectional championship within their midst.

“We were hugging and cheering together, it was a really awesome feeling,” Lange said. 

Still nowhere near the finish. The Mustangs were now on the defensive and going all-out to protect a one-goal lead. 

Naperville North would find themselves with multiple chances at the net, but their shots would either be met by seniors Addison Wargo and Justyce King or land in the hands of Straub. 

There were less than two minutes left, and everyone in the standswere anticipating a Huskie corner kick. The sun’s blinding brightness had finally peeked out of the sky. The corner kick came in, and with the sun in her eyes, Straub made the biggest save of the season, knocking the ball out of harm’s way.

Wargo would clear the failed corner kick, and the Mustangs would maintain possession until the buzzer sounded. The buzzer signaled their first sectional championship and a spot in the super-sectional against Edwardsville. 

“They do not really overthink things,” head coach Chris Whaley said.”They do not get caught up in the moment. They just play. We have created a competitive environment where girls show up every day ready to battle and grind it out. It shows in [our] games.”

The super-sectional is the focus now with a trip to the state semifinals on the line this Tuesday night. 

“We are just going to show up like we always do, and we are going know that there is a battle ahead of us,” Straub said. “But we know that we believe in each other and we can play some great soccer.”