Girls Soccer: Lincoln-Way Central, Downers Grove South play to scoreless tie
By Matt Le Cren For Sun-Times Media April 3, 2014 10:32PM
Updated: April 4, 2014 10:36PM
The night was cold and the ball slippery, but Erin Doody’s hands were sure.
The Lincoln-Way goalkeeper made five saves, all in the second half, to preserve a 0-0 tie with Downers Grove South on Thursday at the Downers Grove South quad.
It was the fifth shutout of the season for Doody, who made the play of the game with 8:15 remaining when she sprawled to her left to deflect a 25-yard rocket from Autumn Rasmussen around the left post.
“I saw her coming in so I just made the save,” Doody said. “I think that was my best one this season so far. Our defense is doing a pretty good job of not letting too many shots off.”
Indeed, the Knights (3-1-3) are playing solid defense. The back line of Sara Petrone, Brooke Mejdrich, Sarah Ortman and Sarah Zarnowski held Downers South to eight shots, all but two of which came from distance.
“Defensively we’re solid,” Lincoln-Way Central coach Dan Radz said. “Shots are coming from outside the 18-yard box. I haven’t seen them crack our box often.”
On the few occasions the Mustangs (2-3-1) were able to penetrate the box, a defender was always there to knock the ball away. Rasmussen had the only open looks, but missed a partial breakaway while under pressure in the fourth minute and then had a turnaround shot from 15 yards out stopped by Doody with 4:35 to go in the game.
That turned out to be the last scoring chance for either side. Neither team was completely satisfied with the draw but it had more significance for the Knights, who have struggled to beat bigger opponents in recent years.
“I think we have some more team chemistry and we’ve just got our stuff together,” Doody said. “It feels good because we haven’t done too great in the past, but we’ve definitely stepped up our game this year and we’re hoping to get a big win (Saturday) to win the tournament.”
The round-robin concludes Saturday with the Knights playing Joliet Catholic and the Mustangs taking on the St. Charles North JV. If both teams win, the tournament will be decided on goal differential.
But Downers South coach Abby Anderson wasn’t thinking about that scenario after failing to pull out a game the Mustangs thought they should have won.
“We’re not happy with how we played,” Anderson said. “We think we can play better and we need to play better and we need to not let conditions and refs and other things dictate our finishing.
“(The Knights) played well and they’ve got some strong players. We had opportunities but we have to put things together a little bit better.”
Radz was saying the same thing about his squad, which mustered nine shots but couldn’t get anything past Downers South goalkeepers Katelyn Laraia, who made three saves before leaving with an injury late in the first half, or Megan Mayer, who stopped four shots. Kyla Grundholfer had the best chance for the Knights but sent a 10-yard header over the crossbar with 32:50 to go.
“We put some pressure on and we had a couple chances,” Radz said. “We just have to find that combination up top. The more we play tough competition the better off we’re going to be.”