Girls Soccer: Lincoln-Way North clips Mother McAuley, moves on to supersectional
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media May 30, 2014 7:50PM
Lincoln-Way North's Bethany Dombkowski (00) makes a diving save on a shot by McAuley's Emily Rappold (16) in Tinley Park Friday, May, 30, 2014. | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 2, 2014 2:35PM
Mother McAuley was not the opponent Lincoln-Way North expected to see in Friday’s Class 3A Andrew Sectional championship, but the Phoenix wasn’t about to take the 14th-seeded Mighty Macs lightly.
“They’re not really a 14 seed,” North coach Mike Murphy said. “We stressed that all week in practice. We took this game seriously. We wanted to make this one of the best teams in school history, and we’d never won a sectional in 3A before. We had one in 2A, and this was our chance to make history and win our first in 3A.”
In a span of just over a minute, the top-seeded Phoenix effectively put a stop to McAuley’s Cinderella run. Tasha Fields and Kelsey McInturff scored 67 seconds apart in the first half and Lincoln-Way North went on to a 3-0 win in Tinley Park.
North (21-3-1) will take on Lyons, which beat the Phoenix 1-0 earlier in the season, in Tuesday’s Lewis Supersectional.
McAuley (7-10-3) had upset Andrew, Marist and Sandburg to reach the title game, but couldn’t get anything going against a Phoenix defense that recorded its 15th shutout of the season.
North got on the board off a deep throw-in in the 15th minute. Valen Manns’ throw was headed by Bianca Galassini, chipped ahead by Rachel Pappas and found its way to the foot of Fields, who hammered the ball home.
“It was a great team play,” Fields said. “I just hit it in.”
The goal energized the Phoenix.
“It pumped us up,” Manns said. “We said ‘If we can score on goal that easy, we can do it again.’ ”
They did, again off a Manns throw that led to a scramble in the box, where McInturff tapped it in.
North showed off its depth, as Fields and McInturff both came off the bench to score.
“We’ve had good teams in the past, but we haven’t had a lot of people coming off the bench,” Murphy said. “With this team, I had seven subs coming in and we never dropped off.”
The Mighty Macs’ best chance to score came 17 minutes into the second half. Claire Shannon’s cross deflected off a North defender and the ball rolled toward the goal line. Phoenix goalie Bethany Dombkowski was able to dive and get her fingertips on the ball to push it away.
Pappas added the exclamation point, scoring with 6:18 to go.
Erica Horn made seven saves for McAuley.
“We made it further than anyone thought we would,” McAuley’s Emily Rappold said. “We won McAuley’s first regional title in a long time (since 2008). We’re happy and proud.”
North hopes to make its first trip to state after its 2012 supersectional appearance ended with a heartbreaking overtime loss to Normal U-High.
“We’re really excited to get another chance,” Lexi Cesario said. “We’re hoping this time it’ll be our year.”