DeKALB – After sitting out the past three games with a broken nose, DeKalb midfielder Kayley Garland just wanted to get back to playing on the field with her teammates.
Garland returned to action in the Barbs’ Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference match against Yorkville and made a major impact, as the winger’s second-half hat trick helped DeKalb pull out a 4-0 victory Tuesday night.
“I think that we played well. We definitely picked it up in the second half opposed to the first half,” Garland said. “It was really great to get back to playing. It is hard sitting on the bench watching everyone else play.”
At halftime, Yorkville (1-3, 0-2 NI Big 12) managed to keep the Barbs off the scoreboard despite being under constant pressure. DeKalb (3-3, 1-0 NI Big 12) finally made the breakthrough eighteen minutes into the second half.
Riley Bauling’s throw-in found Ayslin Nachman down the right wing, and Nachman carried the ball into the Yorkville box and fired in a cross. The ball missed Morgan Beaty and a Foxes defender in the middle of the box. Garland collected the ball at the back post and calmly finished to give the Barbs the lead.
“[Garland] came out here today, was in the right spot at the right time and finished,” DeKalb coach Phil Rouse. “She was calm under pressure and didn’t panic.”
Garland said that she was just in the right spot on the field.
“On the first one, I was just in the right place at the right time,” Garland said. “I was able to get to the far post were we needed somebody to be to get it by their goalie.”
Sixteen minutes later, Garland scored her second goal. A Beaty cross found Izzy Pizano in the box, and Pizano’s shot was saved by Yorkville goaltender MacKenzie Lee. Lee parried the shot and Garland pounced on the rebound.
Garland’s third goal came two minutes from the final whistle.
Another Beaty cross was thrown into the box, which Lee punched clear with Garland cleaning up the rebound.
Rouse said that he wanted his team to get crosses into the box in the second half.
“(Lee) is a tremendous goaltender. We tried to get to the byline on her and play it across the six. She is just too fast, too athletic and too strong,” Rouse said. “So the only thing we could try is put some bouncing balls into the box and make her make a decision.”
The Barbs’ final goal was scored by Beaty, whose breakaway in the final minute sealed the win. DeKalb outshot Yorkville 22-2 and 12-1 on shots on target. Maddie Frye earned the shutout in net.
“In the second half, we started to find feet more. We started to find possession and our rhythm,” Rouse said. “Once you don’t play so direct, north-to-south, and once you play east-to-west a little bit more, you tend to find a little more possession and the field opens up more.”
DeKalb’s next match will be against Sycamore at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday in a big NI Big 12 contest in Sycamore.