Girls Soccer: Lemont knocks out Marian Catholic
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media May 25, 2013 5:20PM
Lemont's Kim Jerantowski (11) battles against Marian Catholic's Hailey Losselyong. | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 27, 2013 7:11AM
Marian Catholic coach Nasser Shahtaji could often be heard Saturday imploring his team to “stop letting No. 6 clear the ball.”
No. 6 on Lemont was Reilley Sullivan, and not only did she frustrate the Spartans’ offense from her sweeper position, but she scored the goal that essentially sealed the Indians’ spot in the state’s Elite Eight.
Sullivan provided the insurance with 4:47 left in the match after Aleks Mihailovic scored early, giving top-seeded Lemont a 2-0 win over the upstart Spartans in the Class 2A Lincoln-Way West Sectional championship.
“It’s awesome to win this,” Sullivan said. “Hopefully, we can keep it going and get to state. Our defense was strong. They were pressing up on me and my teammates did a great job helping out. It was a team effort.”
The Indians (20-3-2), looking for their second trip to state in three years, will take on host Normal West (22-4-1) in a supersectional set for 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Marian, which pulled off three upsets to reach the final, finished 6-13-1.
Sullivan poked in the clinching goal off Mihailovic’s corner kick, which took several bounces in traffic before finding Sullivan at the far post.
“The ball came to the back post and I saw my chance and took it,” Sullivan said.
The Spartans came out strong out of the gates and had two early chances to score, but Hailey Losselyong shot just wide and Lemont goalie Kelly Fritz (3 saves) came out of her net to smother another Losselyong shot 40 second later.
Moments later, Mihailovic corralled the ball 30 yards from the goal and lofted a shot that Marian goalie Sarah Sieracki (3 saves) lost track of. It went in to give the Indians the lead in the fifth minute.
“It was a really good feeling,” Mihailovic said. “Everyone on the team got hyped up.”
The early sequence proved to be a major momentum turner.
“We had a little confusion with our defenders and (Sieracki) didn’t have a good view of the shot and got surprised,” Shahtaji said. “Missing those early chances and then having them score, that was the turning point.
“It was a great run, though. It was gratifying. They made us all proud of them.”
The Indians felt their play was much improved from Wednesday’s 3-1 semifinal win over Joliet Catholic.
“We played 10 times better,” the Indians’ Kim Jerantowski said. “We came out ready to go. We knew (Marian) had a lot of momentum after some big upsets, so we had to come out strong.”