Girls Soccer: Tirovolas plans another assault on Niles West scoring marks
Niles West freshman Vicki Tirovolas passes the ball up field during a varsity soccer game against Evanston in Evanston on Friday, April 13, 2012. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 2, 2012 8:48AM
With at least seven games remaining on the Niles West schedule, freshman Vicki Tirovolas sat in a tie for the program’s single-season record with 17 goals.
Back when the Wolves bus was pulling out for a tournament in Moline, the program record set by Eileen Ouska in 2001, seemed all but erased.
But during Niles West’s first game in Moline, Tirovolas sprained her ankle. That injury, coupled with what the Niles West training staff believes to be a herniated disc, sidelined Tirovolas until the Wolves’ regional semifinal match against Whitney Young.
“I knew I would be back (for the postseason). I was not going to let that stop me from playing on senior night and finishing the season with my team,” Tirovolas said.
Young, the Public League champion that had won nine consecutive matches entering its match against Niles West, consistently dropped back four defenders to help deal with Tirovolas in the teams’ May 16th match.
The Dolphins won 1-0 with a goal in the 75th minute. But for one brief moment in the second half it appeared as though Tirovolas would give Niles West (10-12-1) the lead and put herself atop the records chart.
With 15:37 remaining, Tirovolas wriggled free of the Young defense and, from 18-yards out, fired a rocket to the far post.
But the Young goalkeeper slid across her goal line and barely deflect Tirovolas’ shot wide.
“It was pretty disappointing, but overall I think we played a really great game — a solid game, one of the best we’ve played of the season,” Tirovolas said. “We just have to lift our heads and come back stronger next season.”
Tirovolas kept her spirits up after the match. Not only had Niles West played one of its best games of the season, but has a good foundation to build upon heading into Tirovolas’ sophomore season.
“Vicki’s also tied at the top with points at 42, so she did a lot as a freshman this year,” Niles West coach Brett Clish said. “So we’re looking for her to build (on her freshman season), but also all of the underclassmen (to) play in the offseason and build on that. We know that there’s a good freshman crew coming in next year that we’ll mix in with these older girls.”
Now that she has become fully acclimated to varsity play and has time for her back to heal, Tirovolas can train in the offseason and work with the Wolves’ returning players.
“Honestly, I couldn’t be more proud of myself,” Tirovolas said. “I’ve been out seven games. I know that if I was in I would have had (the records). But next season there’s no doubt in my mind I’m going to get it.”