BELLEVILLE — Jordyn Cook was pretty pumped up going into the Granite City Warriors’ season-
opening match with Naperville Central on Saturday at Belleville West High School.
“I had a lot of adrenaline in the beginning of the game,” the Granite City senior forward said.
Cook showed how excited she was during the first minute of play against the Redhawks. Just 44 seconds into the match, Cook attempted to score a goal, but her shot hit the top of the crossbar.
“When I hit it, I thought for sure it was going to go in, but it bounced off the crossbar,” Cook said.
After that miss, Naperville Central took over. Junior Kayla Burke scored a goal just three minutes after Cook’s missed shot and senior Mackenzie Sisko scored a goal with 14 minutes left in the second half as the Redhawks pulled off a 2-0 win over Granite City.
“I think they’re a really good team,” Cook said. “They did good on putting pressure on the ball. We knew coming out that it would be a tough game and we tried to prepare ourselves as well as we could. I think we started out good and I think we played a good game against them. By the end of the game, we could have put more into it, but I think we played pretty well.”
Naperville Central improved to 3-0-1. The day before, the Redhawks finished in a scoreless tie with Belleville West.
“It’s always a good thing to play a quality team like this,” Granite City coach Kenny Prazma said. “You always want to have a great team like this right off the bat when you haven’t played a game. We’re Granite City and we don’t back down from anybody and we want to play as many quality teams as we can and get ready for regionals and sectionals.”
Burke and Sisko scored their first goals of the season on Saturday.
“The chances that they had our keepers didn’t really have to make too many saves,” Prazma said. “The two shots on goal that they had went into the back of the net and that was unfortunate.”
The Warriors had three chances to score against Naperville Central. The first one came with 44 seconds into the match, when Cook’s shot hit the crossbar.
“The kids get excited whenever in the first couple of minutes of the game you get a good chance like that,” Prazma said. “But you have to put it in the back of the net. Sometimes that will change the game around a little bit. I’m sure they would probably have pressed a little bit more if we would have been up 1-0.”
Senior Ashleigh Briggs attempted to tie the match at 1-1 with 18 minutes left in the first half, but her shot sailed over the goal. The Warriors had another chance to tie the match with 24 minutes left in the second half, but Grace Neidhart’s shot was saved by Naperville Central goalkeeper Kinzly Dressler.
The Warriors look to bounce back at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, when they travel to GCS Stadium in Sauget to play the Triad Knights.
“The girls are looking forward to it,” Prazma said. “They’re excited about going there and getting a chance to play in the baseball stadium and we’ll get some things worked out and hopefully, we’ll give Triad a good game.”
As for Cook, she’s hoping for an injury-free senior season. After playing varsity in her freshman year, she missed her entire sophomore year due to an injury to her left knee and played half of her junior season.
“I feel great,” Cook said. “I feel back to normal. I don’t have any problems with it (my knee).”
Cook also hopes her team will finish with an outstanding season.
“I think that if we continue to work hard at practice the way we have been and playing hard and continuing to get better, I think that the season will get much better,” Cook said.