Joe Trost's Corner Kicks blog | Espino making an impact at Young

It's amazing the difference one player can make in high school girls soccer.

Just ask Young coach Spero Mandakas.

Since junior Mia Espino returned to the lineup at the halfway point this spring, the Dolphins are 7-2-1. The forward, who recorded 10 goals and seven assists during that span, helped Young's offensive attack find the back of the net 46 times in those 10 matches compared to just 17 times in the 13 games she missed because of personal reasons.

"We've only lost to Plainfield North and Wheaton North since she's been back," said Mandakas, whose team will battle Payton on Tuesday in a Public League tournament semifinal.

Lane, which is trying to win its third consecutive Public League crown, will square off against Curie in the other semifinal. The title match is slated for 7 p.m. Thursday at Gately Stadium.

Future stars: Tatumn Milazzo and Mikaela Niermann have been invited to the U-14 U.S. Girls National Team training camp, which will kick off May 27 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Both girls play club for Eclipse Select.

Did you know?: Barrington has outscored its conference opponents 31-3 this spring, with 14 of those goals coming in two games against Wheeling and Hoffman Estates.

But in its five losses to quality programs (Hersey, Naperville Central, Naperville North, Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley), the Fillies have been outscored 8-1.

Condolences: Corner Kicks asks its readers to keep Liz Clark and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Clark, who is the Lake Forest starting goalie, lost her father, Scott Clark, last Thursday when a small single-engine plane crashed near Lake in the Hills Airport as it tried to land.

Soccer market

Here are a few highs and lows from the eighth week of the girls soccer season.

Team gains with impressive play: Lyons has quietly put together a nice season, despite not having a solid offensive attack. The Lions, whose only losses came to ranked teams (Naperville North, 1-0, and Plainfield North, 2-0), entered the week unbeaten in 16 of 18 games (12-2-4) this spring.

Individual increase: Kentucky-bound Kelli Hubly recorded her 19th and 20th goals of the season in the first half to help Elk Grove beat Fremd last week.

Struggling: After going .500 through its first eight games, Lincoln-Way East has lost eight of its last 11 games. The Griffins broke a four-game losing streak when they beat Class 1A Francis Parker on Saturday.

This week's best bet: Public League championship, 7 p.m. Thursday at Gately Stadium.

Email Joe Trost at joetrost@hotmail.com.
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