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Coalers start on a roll

Alisha Johnson scored two goals to lead the Coalers to a 3-0 win at Yorkville on 
Alisha Johnson scored two goals to lead the Coalers to a 3-0 win at Yorkville on Wednesday.

YORKVILLE — After two games, which includes a 3-0 win at Yorkville on Wednesday, the Coal City girls soccer team has won by a cumulative score of 10-0.

Senior Alicia Johnson scored twice on Friday against the Foxes and Senior Donjeta Shabani added another. For Johnson it was her first two goals of the season, though she already has four assists. Shabani’s goal was her third of the season.

On the other end of the field, Sarah Sirovy pitched her second shutout of the season. Including 15 saves against Yorkville and five more in the 7-0 opening win against Grant Park, the senior has been virtually flawless so far this year.

So which is the team more happy with to this point, the 10 goals or the two shutouts.

“It’s the shutouts for sure,” Coal City coach Michael Kostbade said. “That’s something we’ve worked hard for. If we are going to achieve our big team goals, we know that we are going to need that kind of performance.

“Sarah did a very good job. We’ve moved to the flat-four this year (on defense) and she’s does a great job of coming off the line with it. And it is nice to see the offense do what it was supposed to do. It’s nice to see them work together. After all this time they’ve been together, you can really tell that they know where one another is at. The chemistry is starting to pay off this year.”

Shabani scored the first goal of the game at Campbell Field on Wednesday. It came when Brittany Jezik chipped one up to the south end where Shabani was able to stay onside and then get the goal.

“It’s timing mostly … a situation where you need to go later,” Shabani said. “That goal is what we were aiming for. A pass forward and then we chase it down.”

The goal was in the 15th minute of play and the score would stand that way until right before halftime.

It was in the 40th minute (:40 left) when Jezik and Johnson got together with a Yorkville defender to the right of goal and a couple of feet in front of the net. Johnson and the defender hit the deck while almost simultaneously Jezik found the back of the net.

“I don’t know how it happened, but someone sat on my leg in a funny way,” Johnson said. “I had the ball off the line to start the play and Brittany popped it in somehow.”

Yorvkille, who opened the season with a 1-0 win over Plano, had several quality chances in the first 15 minutes of the second half, but Sirovy was up to the challenge each time. That led to the final goal by Johnson in the 55th minute.

“Megan (Jessen) popped the ball over the defense and I ran around and grabbed it. Shot it into the bottom left corner,” Johnson said.

As mentioned, the goals were the first of the season for Johnson. Still she said that it doesn’t matter if she scores them or any other of her teammates.

“I don’t have to score,” she said. “I’m just happy when anyone on the team does.”

Johnson also seconded her coaches’ notion that the two shutouts are what the team is most proud of to this point.

“Sarah made some good saves,” Johnson said. “The defense does a good job of getting after it and keeping the ball out of danger. They also do a good job of stopping the breakaways back there.”

Kostbade is just hoping that the team can carry that kind of energy into the Interstate Eight Conference portion of the season.

“Coming in we thought that we’d kind of need to match Yorkville’s level,” Kostbade said. “They are very strong and we felt we had to match their aggressiveness. It’s one of these things where you don’t want to be pushed off the ball. It’s soccer, you want them to use the body to maintain possession of the ball.

“The girls are going to have to stay ready. There will be no easy games now that the conference part of the schedule is now up.”

Coal City hosts Peotone on Thursday.

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