When South Elgin coach Tiffany Disher asked everyone to step up, every available member of the Storm heeded the call.
Freshman Ella Struwing’s hat trick headlined seven players contributing to a 9-1 road Upstate Eight River victory over East Aurora.
It marked only the second win in the last eight games for South Elgin (9-4-2, 3-3), which could only watch as injuries derailed a 7-0 start to the season. It was an eighth consecutive loss for the Tomcats (1-9, 0-3).
“I’m most pleased with the team effort and the fact we kept our focus throughout the game,” Disher said. “We’ve been on a roller-coaster ride lately with ups and downs in our level of play and who’s been available. Hopefully this gets us back on the right track for the playoffs and the confidence
“Playing forward is a new position for Ella and her one-touch shot was excellent. I also know none of our shots come without our wings making good crosses.”
Anna Tracy’s through-ball started a breakaway, with Caitlin Lange crossing the ball to Missy Greco for an eight-yarder from the left wing just 6:56 into the contest. Then Struwing delivered a pair of goals in less than a minute, capping her hat trick just 2:39 into the second half.
“No one can replace (injured standout Savanah Uveges), so we know we all have to step up,” said Struwing, who boosted her goal total to five. “I’ve been struggling to hit the net, so I was excited to get that first one.
“The second one really boosted my confidence and it feels really good to get back on the bus after a win, especially one that means more being a conference match.”
Arielle Walters and Becca Underwood — one of only four on the Storm bench —both scored two goals while Tracy added the final goal after having picked up two assists.
East Aurora did get on the scoreboard when Noella Reyes worked way past the South Elgin defense for her second goal of the season.
“These girls still inspire me as a coach because their spirit is relentless,” Tomcat coach Javier Hernandez said. “I’ve yet to see them defeated in attitude no matter the score or the opponent.”