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Sports

Downers Grove North girls soccer storms into regional final

Trojans to face York for regional title at 11 a.m. on May 23

Downers Grove North's Alyse Dutcher (right) battles a Glenbard North player for possession of the ball on May 4. Dutcher is been a key piece of North's lockdown defense that has helped lead the Trojans into the regional title game on May 23.
Downers Grove North's Alyse Dutcher (right) battles a Glenbard North player for possession of the ball on May 4. Dutcher is been a key piece of North's lockdown defense that has helped lead the Trojans into the regional title game on May 23.

DOWNERS GROVE –áThere shouldn't be many unknowns between the girls soccer teams from Downers Grove North and York when they meet at 11 a.m. on May 23.

The Trojans and Dukes will play for the Class 3A Trinity regional title at Memorial Field in Melrose Park with the winner moving on to the Hinsdale Central sectional semifinal on May 26.

In a West Suburban Silver game in the regular season, the Trojans topped the Dukes 1-0 in a game that went to penalty kicks after scoreless regulation and overtime.

If anything, North might be playing even better on defense now.

"We have locked down on defense and gained confidence scoring on offense," head coach Bob Calder said. "We have a defense that can shut down extremely dangerous players, [we] play the ball through our midfield that has players that work extremely hard and stay composed, and [we have] forwards that are full of confidence and willing to take players on one-on-one."

Freshman goalkeeper Grace Stevenson has been a standout all season for the Trojans, with defenders like Alyse Dutcher, Kelly Doro, Kacey Ford and Arlinda Osmani making life difficult on opponents before they even get to Stevenson. York is expecting a tough challenge against the Trojans.

“Downers North plays a very solid team game, and they’ve only given up 12 goals all year,” York head coach Don Vana said. “They’re a very good team. It’s going to be hard for us to find a way.”

The Trojans improved to 14-6-1 on the season and earned their 12th shutout of the season with an 8-0 win against Reavis in a regional semifinal on May 19. Jessica Ridderhoff opened the scoring early in the first half with Alexandria Cittadine finding the back of the net in the 12th minute. Ellena Metros, Bridget Keys and Chloe Nowka also scored first-half goals.

Keys earned a hat trick by scoring two goals around Mary Helen Beacom's tally in the second half as North stormed into the regional final. York punched its ticket with a 5-0 win against Trinity.

North will be looking for more of the same on both offense and defense in order to keep the season going.

"In order for us to have an extended playoff run we will need to continue playing hard as a team and take advantage of opportunities as they arise throughout games," Calder said.

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