SOUTH HOLLAND | For Illiana Christian's Emma Pawlowski, it was nothing more than a simple chip shot.
Pawlowski scored the game-winning goal off a free kick in the 77th minute to help lift the Vikings to a 2-1 victory over Riverside-Brookfield in Metro Suburban Conference action.
Pawlowski's game-winner came from just outside the right side of the Bulldogs box to find the upper left corner of the goal.
"It was very exciting and I'm happy I got that," Pawlowski said. "That angle from the right side is my favorite shot. I like chipping it over. I practice with the goalie before the game starts just chipping those. It seems to work."
Illiana Christian (10-1-2, 4-1) battled the Bulldogs to a scoreless game through the first half. In the 10th minute of the second half, Paige Osika took a ball through three Riverside-Brookfield defenders and passed a shot to the left corner of the Bulldogs goal and past the keeper for the 1-0 lead.
"I just passed it right in the corner," Osika said. "That's what coach taught me, and I look for that now. The competition was great, but we held it really well together."
Riverside-Brookfield (5-7-1, 4-2) then tied the match six minutes later. Illiana Christian was able to keep the game tied until late in the match when the stage was set for Pawlowski's heroics.
"This team seems to find a way to win," Illiana Christian coach AJ Turkstra said. "They work hard. We don't score a lot of goals, but we seem to be right there in the low-scoring games."
Illiana Christian received a nice boost on defense with the return of Annie Brucer for the second straight game. Brucer had been out for some time with an ankle injury and was just happy to be back on the pitch with her team.
"Second game back and I feel good," Brucer said. "It's sore, but I push through it. I'm excited to be back playing with my team. I love playing with them, and I missed them a bunch."
The Vikings will host MSC rival Fenton on Thursday at Paarlberg Park to finish a 1-1 match that was called because of lightning on April 29th. The match will begin at 4:30 p.m., when the teams will finish the final 24:11 of the match.