AURORA — Paced by Tessa Fagerson’s three goals, Plainfield North beat Metea Valley 4-1 to earn the program’s first sectional title Friday.
Winning the Class 3A East Aurora Sectional crown advances the Tigers to Tuesday’s Bloomington Supersectional. Plainfield North will square off with O’Fallon, winners of the Edwardsville Sectional, for a berth in the state finals.
Metea Valley, the defending Class 3A state champion, finished its season with a 19-1-3 record and the DuPage Valley Conference crown.
Forcing the Mustangs to play the Tigers’ brand of soccer was one of the keys to the match, according to Plainfield North coach Katie Monterosso.
“Trusting our game and trusting our process, we want teams to adjust to us and not the other way around.”— Katie Monterosso, Plainfield North girls soccer
“Trusting our game and trusting our process, we want teams to adjust to us and not the other way around,” she said. “We’ve been playing a quick style, quick movement, trying to target and find our forwards and drive the ball.”
The Tigers also kept a close eye on Metea Valley’s scoring threats.
“Metea has fantastic players, so we did have a few players that we keyed on. Tyra King, for sure. Lucy Burke is a great player and Riley Strcic in their midfield,” said Monterosso. “They’re key players for them, and we made sure they were marked up.”
Fagerson, a DePaul commit, earned the hat trick in the first half, scoring the first goal of the game five minutes into the first half. She found the back of the net twice in the last five minutes of the frame. The senior leads Plainfield North scoring with 33 goals.
Metea Valley coach Chris Whaley felt Fagerson’s first-half goals made a major impact on the match.
“Just two really good teams that were going to have to find a way to win. They finished some chances in the first half,” Whaley said. “The girl in the middle (Fagerson) had a couple of nice left-footed shots that just changed the game.”
Gabriella Mattio’s corner kick from the left side ended in Plainfield North’s first goal.
“The ball just came, and I hit my foot up and deflected the ball,” Fagerson said. “I don’t know. I think it hit off a defender too, but it somehow stuck in.”
Sandwiched between Fagerson’s two strikes near the end of the first half was King’s 23rd goal of the season on a cross from Kyleigh Jannisch. King got behind the Tigers’ backline and headed the ball in from 20 yards out.
“Kyleigh was running on the line, and she did a cross,” King said. “And I just got my head on it, and it hit the left corner.”.
Plainfield North (23-1-2) triple-teamed King, who will play for Northern Illinois next year.
“They had a girl man-marking me, and then they would have one behind me and one in front,” King said. “I couldn’t do the things I usually do like shooting from a distance, and I couldn’t dribble as much.”
Mia Davis scored Plainfield North’s final goal with five minutes left.