LOMBARD – It was a good weekend for Glenbard East’s girls soccer on more than one level.
The Rams won a tournament over the weekend, and in doing so matched the school record for wins in a season.
East went 4-0 at the Niles West Tournament, shutting out all four opponents, to pick up the team’s 13th win of the season. The Rams entered Thursday’s senior night match against Willowbrook with a 13-4-1 record.
East defeated Nazareth, 2-0, on April 23, Rockford Lutheran, 7-0, on April 24 and beat Maine West, 3-0, and Willowbrook, 7-0, on Saturday.
“Unfortunately the scores don’t reflect the talent that was actually there,” Glenbard East coach Kent Overbey said. “We played really well. I think Nazareth was the best team we faced there.”
Even against the Roadrunners, the Rams held a 19-1 shot advantage. East got a boost from three junior varsity players that Overbey called up to help the team during its run of eight matches in 12 days.
Brittany Paganucci scored in all four matches, totaling seven goals at the tournament. Thanks to some lopsided scores, the Rams were able to give some starters a rest and that helped them survive the crowded schedule with no injuries. Playing the tournament ran the risk of overworking the girls, but they came out the other side unscathed.
“If you get a bunch of games and good games without getting people hurt then you’re happy,” Overbey said. “If you get people hurt then you’re kicking yourself. You also have a chance to win some hardware, which the girls enjoy.”
The four shutouts are also nothing new for East, which is another school record the team has set. The Rams had 12 shutouts entering Thursday’s match. Rachael Leifheit has returned to the defense after coming back from a concussion. Goalkeepers Rachel Anderson and Sierra Dana split time to earn the shutouts at the tournament.
Unfortunately for the Rams, none of the shutouts have come in DuPage Valley Conference matches. The DVC is one of the stronger and deeper conferences in the state and the Rams can’t seem to shake the opposition despite strong results outside of the league.
A 1-0 double overtime loss against Wheaton North on Monday dropped East to 1-3 in the DVC. Three of those losses have been by shutout despite the Rams averaging nearly four goals a match throughout the season.
“We need to get over that hump in the conference,” Overbey said. “That’s tough. We’ve got some good ones coming up.”
After Alex Ruffer, Kelly Ravenscraft and Taylor Hallcox were honored on senior night, the Rams now look ahead to tough matches with Naperville Central, Lake Park, Lyons Township and Wheaton Warrenville South to close out the regular season.
“It’s a tough end to our season, but there’s a little bit more space in there than some of these back-to-back games,” Overbey said.
Rams at the Niles West Tournament
Rams 2, Nazareth 0
• Goals: Brittany Paganucci, Holly Ward
Rams 7, Rockford Lutheran 0
• Goals: Ward, Alex Ruffer (2), Paganucci (2), Dana Plotke, Sammie Sarles
Rams 3, Maine West 0
• Goals: Paganucci (2), Ward
Rams 7, Willowbrook 0
• Goals: Paganucci (2), Jessica Whipple, Jordyn Fulton (2), Corie Ewoldt, Maria Berrum