Morgan Krause has been bugging Naperville North girls soccer coach Steve Goletz for more than a year to let her play in the midfield.
Goletz has resisted because the Iowa-bound Krause is one of the best defenders in the state. But he recently had a change of heart.
“I finally got Goletz to say yes,” Krause said. “After many days and months of pestering him, I finally got to play midfield.
“It’s been a rough change. It’s a little out of my comfort zone. It’s a lot of fun, though, trying to learn (a new position), a lot more running.”
And it probably will result in a lot more headaches for Naperville North opponents.
Krause dominated the midfield on Saturday, scoring twice and getting an assist to lead the visiting Huskies to a 5-0 win over Hinsdale Central in Hinsdale. Fellow senior Chloe Kotrba also had 2 goals, and Jessica Lapnow had 1 for Naperville North (1-0), which outshot the Red Devils 19-2.
“Morgan is a special player,” Goletz said. “She’s one of the top kids to come through this program, both athletically and also soccer-wise.
“I told her it’s going to take some time (to adjust), but it’s a great reward for in her first game to get 2 goals and an assist.”
Krause opened the scoring by heading a pass from Emily Wilhelm under the crossbar at the 26:20 mark of the first half. She capped the Huskies’ barrage with a 25-yard rocket in between diving Hinsdale Central goalkeeper Fiona Fitzsimmons and the right post with 25:40 to go in the second half.
Krause’s position switch was made possible by the Huskies’ tremendous depth on the back line and spurred by the search for more offense. Junior Jess Siebers replaced Krause at center back and the Huskies didn’t miss a beat.
Meanwhile, Kotrba shined in her varsity debut. The forward came off the bench and matched Krause’s feat by scoring once with her head and once with her foot.
Kotrba’s first goal came less than two minutes after Krause’s first when she took a pass from Ashley Santos and blew a 22-yarder inside the right post. She made it 3-0 at the 15:49 mark of the first half as she got her head on Katie Fortman’s 49-yard free kick and knocked it off the inside of the left post.
“It was a lot of fun,” Kotrba said. “I think it was really great for me to start my season off on a strong note and kind of like set the tone for how I hope the rest of the season can go.”
Elizabeth Cablk had to make only one save for Naperville North. Hinsdale Central (0-1-1) had only one decent scoring chance, that coming when Erin Otto lined a 28-yard free kick off the crossbar with 4:45 left in the second half.
“Naperville North did a very good job and capitalized on some mistakes that we made because we thought we had more time,” Hinsdale Central coach Michael Smith said. “The good thing is that the freshmen and sophomores on this team have learned a hard lesson today, and that’s when you’re playing the strongest teams in the area, there is little room for error.”