Home World Ellie Wise, Lake Zurich win sectional semifinal

Ellie Wise, Lake Zurich win sectional semifinal


Lake Zurich junior forward Ellie Wise played her role to near perfection on Tuesday.

Wise, the fourth-leading goal scorer for the Bears, comes off the bench to provide a spark.

“I have not started in my three years on the varsity,” she said. “I try to come on the field and motivate my team and bring a fast pace as quick as I can and a lot of energy. I like to pressure really hard and move a lot for the ball and try to do what I can to get open and score.”

Wise did just that against North Suburban Conference rival Warren during a Class 3A Huntley Sectional semifinal. She scored a goal in the sixth minute as second-seeded Lake Zurich beat the third-seeded Blue Devils 3-1.

Senior forward Lauren Bailey and sophomore midfielder Sydney Arendarczyk also scored for the Bears (17-2-1), who advance to play top-seeded Barrington in the sectional championship game at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Lake Zurich junior goalkeeper Erin Bohn made 13 saves on the windy night.

Junior forward Addison Stanciak, a Saint Louis recruit, scored for Warren (13-8-1) to finish the season with 20 goals, including five in the playoffs, and 10 assists. Junior goalkeeper Emma Megerle made nine saves.

Wise raised her season total to 10 goals, becoming the fourth Lake Zurich player in double figures. Freshman sensation Reilly Novak leads the Bears with 21 goals, Bailey has 18 and Arendarczyk has 17.

“We have a lot of great forwards and attacking mids, so we knew offensively we could create some chances,” Lake Zurich coach Mike Castronova said. “Lauren can create for herself, and Sydney and Reilly can score but also share the ball too.

“When Ellie comes in, she brings energy and just runs and runs. She can pressure, and if we’re looking to defend more, she can drop back, and she showed that today. She has really focused in on the time she has played and done really well. She runs and chases and really helps us on offense.”

Lake Zurich's Ellie Wise (18) during the 1st half of Tuesday's IHSA Class 3A Huntley Sectional semifinal against Warren, May 21, 2024. Lake Zurich won the game, 3-1. (Brian O'Mahoney for the News-Sun)
Lake Zurich’s Ellie Wise (18) moves the ball during a Class 3A Huntley Sectional semifinal against Warren on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Brian O’Mahoney / News-Sun)

Wise made an immediate impact Tuesday, scoring the first goal against the wind.

“Mallory (Collins) had a great run on the side, and the ball came from Lauren, so I knew I was going to get a good ball, and I was right there to finish a (rebound) shot,” Wise said.

Bailey, who has scored 50 goals over the past two seasons, said Wise is a difference-maker for the Bears.

“Ellie always brings momentum to the team and makes good runs and finds a way to get open and finishes most of her chances,” Bailey said.

Wise, who comes from a family of soccer players, said her confidence started to soar after she scored a goal during Lake Zurich’s 3-2 win against Fremd on March 15.

“This year I would say I’m playing a bit more confident and wanting the ball more and am more confident with the ball with my feet,” Wise said. “The Fremd game was one of my best games. That game gave me a lot of confidence to keep doing what I was doing throughout the season.”

Bobby Narang is a freelance reporter.

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