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Lexy Cook scores twice, leads North Shore past U-High

05/10/2014, 5:15pm CDT
By Jim Sannes | For Sun-Times Media | @JimSannes

The freshman's game-winner in the 77th minute deflected off the goalie and the post before going in.

WINNETKA — The North Shore Country Day girls soccer team used two second-half goals from freshman Lexy Cook to defeat U-High 2-1 Saturday.

The game was tied at one until the 77th minute when Cook notched the winning goal for the Raiders (8-3-1). Cook put a shot on goal that deflected off Maroons senior keeper Lillian Eckstein, into the left post, and finally into the net.

 “We were all getting really antsy because we knew we needed a goal,” said Cook, who notched her 19th and 20th goals of the season. “I didn’t think it was going to go in.”

The Maroons (4-9-1) opened the scoring in the 48th minute. Eckstein's goal kick traveled beyond midfield, connecting with an open Leah Umanskiy. Umanskiy, a sophomore, lobbed a shot over the head of Raiders junior keeper Annie Kroll to put the Maroons up 1-0. Cook tied the game with her first goal seven minutes later.

“It was frustrating to give up a goal we shouldn’t have given up,” Raiders coach Elizabeth Giffen said. “But I wasn’t worried.”

The Raiders recorded 17 shots before their first goal, largely due to Eckstein's excellent play. A senior who normally plays midfield, Eckstein didn’t know she was starting in goal until 20 minutes before the game due to an injury to regular goalie Kasey Kozak during warm-ups.

“Mentally, you just step up for the position,” Eckstein said. “It’s hard, but you have to do it for the team.”

Saturday was the final game of the regular season for the Raiders. Giffen said that having a scoring threat like Cook will provide the Raiders with an advantage in the postseason. North Shore is the No. 2 seed in the Class 1A North Shore Regional and plays host Wednesday to No. 3 Chicago Math and Science.

“[Cook] is a powerhouse,” Giffen said. “She’s just a natural goal scorer.”

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