DeKALB – The DeKalb and Sycamore girls soccer teams are so even from front to back that through 160 minutes over two matches, neither team could gain the upper hand in the rivalry.
After drawing 0-0 in Sycamore on April 17, the rematch in DeKalb on Tuesday night was supposed to settle this season’s bragging rights.
Neither team could make the breakthrough and the Spartans and Barbs had to settle for another scoreless stalemate.
“Both teams went at it real hard,” DeKalb head coach Phil Rouse said. “I think both teams, at the most crucial moments, either the other team got a flick or a touch on the ball or both teams panicked. And that’s what happens when you have two rivals come together – two teams that fight so hard.”
After a lackluster first half from both sides, the contest gained in intensity in the second half. The first real opportunity for the Spartans (10-4-3, 4-1-2 NI Big 12) came when Tayrn Mathey ripped a shot from distance, which drew a diving save from DeKalb goalkeeper Maddie Frye.
Frye was called into action many times in the second half and came made some spectacular saves, including a diving save with 17 minutes remaining on a curling shot by Alyssa Maillefer that was headed for the goal.
“[Katherine] Kohler had some good hits and so did Maillefer,” said Frye, who finished the contest with 8 saves. “They just found the through balls in and they got those good hits. And, I just came out with the saves.”
Kohler said that the chances to score were there, but Sycamore couldn’t find the back of the net.
“I thought we looked really good. We had a lot of opportunities, we just couldn’t capitalize,” Kohler said. “In the second half, I thought we brought it more and I thought we looked a lot better.”
Sycamore only had one shot in the first half. Spar
tans head coach Dave Lichamer told his team at halftime that they needed start letting the shots fly from long range.
“We talked about it at halftime,” Lichamer said. “When [DeKalb was] starting to pack it in the box, we were going to start settling for some longer hits. I still don’t think we took enough long shots. I would have liked to have seen more using the defensive midfielders moving down on the goal.”
The Barbs (9-3-3, 4-0-3 NI Big 12) best chance to score came eight minutes into the second half. Some give-and-go passing from Ayslin Nachman and Maddie Krmenee released Krmenee in on goal, but her shot sailed over the crossbar.
Coach Rouse said another nil-nil draw fueled the rivalry and that both teams don’t need to play dirty to win.
“Two great teams came together and proved to their communities that they will do anything to get a win,” Rouse said. “They also play the game the right way and both communities should be proud of them tonight.”