Girls Soccer: Marian Catholic continues its run with shutout of Tinley Park
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media May 22, 2013 9:22PM
Tinley Park's Nicole DeMarco controls a bouncing ball with her head. | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 24, 2013 2:02PM
It took Marian Catholic just three playoff games to equal the number of wins it had the entire regular season.
After entering the postseason with a 3-12-3 record, the Spartans will be one of the final 16 teams standing in the state in Class 2A after they pulled another upset Wednesday night, topping Tinley Park 1-0 in a Lincoln-Way West Sectional semifinal.
“It’s amazing to pull of all these upsets,” said Marian’s Abigail Kresal, who scored the lone goal. “We never had enough players earlier in the season (due to injuries). We knew when we had all our players we could play strong.”
The 10th-seeded Spartans (6-12-3) will meet top-seeded Lemont in Saturday’s championship match. No. 3 seed Tinley Park finished 16-6.
Marian was coming off a shocking offensive outburst in a 4-2 regional final win over Lincoln-Way West. Wednesday, the Spartans used a more familiar formula for success, locking down defensively and scoring on their only shot on goal.
Hailey Losselyong set up the score, making a strong run down the left side of the field. A Tinley Park defender was able to knock the ball away, but it deflected right to Kresal in the middle of the field, where she finished with a high left-footed shot.
“I put myself in that position and I knew we needed a goal,” Kresal said. “I knew I couldn’t shoot with my right foot so I hit it with my left and I was just hoping it went in.”
Sarah Sieracki made two saves for the Spartans in the shutout, including a big stop on an Eli Carillo shot in the first half.
The Titans had a couple of other good chances in the final 12 minutes of the match, but Angela Pulice and Jenna Rivera sent shots just wide.
“It was an evenly matched game,” Tinley Park coach Paul Dorney said. “We knew coming in that Marian would play tough defense and they’d be tough to crack. It just came down to one random deflection and she scored.”
Marian will Saturday try for its biggest upset yet.
“(Lemont) is the team that’s supposed to be here,” Losselyong said. “We have nothing to lose.”