Girls soccer: Solid defense, well placed goals lead Geneva to 2-0 win over Batavia to open Tri-Cities night

Geneva players Evyn Schokora (left) and Riley Pryor (center) celebrate a goal by Audrey Stredde (far right) during a Tri-Cities Night game against Batavia at St. Charles North on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

ST. CHARLES — A good offense is the best defense.

And for Geneva’s Leyna Yonehara, that was definitely the case.

Geneva’s Leyna Yonehara gets control of the ball during a Tri-Cities Night game against Batavia at St. Charles North on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

The senior defender had a goal from 35 yards out and led the defense that limited Batavia to two shots on goal in a 2-0 victory for the Vikings during Tri-Cities night Tuesday.

Yonehara said that she found some open space in the field and with the wind to her back, she sent the ball just past the outstretched hand of Batavia goalkeeper Megan Sulaver to give the Vikings a nice insurance goal with 15:14 left in the game.

“It felt good that we got ahead another goal, so it gave me a little bit of buffer now that we’re ahead by two points,” Yonehara said.

Geneva (8-5, 2-1 DuKane conference) also had some solid play from their backline throughout the night. Goalie Jordan Forbes only faced two shots on goal through the night, both coming in the second half.

“We’ve been working on a lot of team defense, so it felt good to that everyone was working to get back behind the ball and worked together as a team,” Yonehara said.

The Vikings got out front in the 16th minute of play after Audrey Stredde took a downfield cross from Caroline Madden and tapping it in for the lead.

Stredde, who scored two goals in her first Tri-Cities game last season, said that the goal was definitely a spark for everyone on the team, especially during a big rivalry game.

“It was awesome,” Stredde said. “The environment is always amazing with all these fans and it was good to get us back on the board.”

Geneva coach Megan Owens said that she was happy to get a win on a night that’s so important to Geneva. But even with the win, a coach can never be too satisfied, even after beating a crosstown rival.

“At this point, we’re starting to look towards the postseason and are trying to build, improve and raise the bar each and every game,” Owens said. “We want to push them to reach their best and get ready for the postseason.”

Batavia (6-7-1, 1-3) had a chance to tie the game in the 56th minute when Emma Wecker sent a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar and back into the field of play.

Batavia coach Mark Gianfrancesco said that after suffering their third straight loss, the Bulldogs just need to get healthy again.

“The injuries are really stacking up for us unfortunately, so that’s what really needs to change,” Gianfrancesco said. “We need to make sure nobody else gets hurt and get those other girls healthy in time for the playoffs. When that happens, then we’re in business.”