Girls Soccer: Lincoln-Way North falls after early lead
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media June 6, 2014 9:16PM
Julia Peterson of St. Charles East tries to kick the ball from the turf as Kelsey McInturff (3) of Lincoln-Way North moves in. | Jon Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media
Class 3A GIRLS State SOCCER
At North Central College,
Friday’s Class 3A semifinals
St. Charles East 3,
Lincoln-Way North 1
New Trier 1, Waubonsie Valley 0
Third-place game: Lincoln-Way North vs. Waubonsie Valley,
Championship: St. Charles East vs. New Trier, 7 p.m.
Updated: June 7, 2014 5:44PM
Friday’s Class 3A state semifinal was playing out just the way Lincoln-Way North wanted it. In typical fashion, the Phoenix took advantage of one of its few scoring chances and went to work clamping down defensively.
The result was a 1-0 halftime lead.
St. Charles East, however, came at North with a relentless attack that could not be denied after the break. The Saints scored three times in the second half to punch their ticket to the state championship game with a 3-1 win at North Central College in Naperville.
“You’ve to give them credit,” North coach Mike Murphy said. “They’re by far the best team we’ve played all year. They kept coming at us. They moved the ball so well. They deserved it. I’m very proud of our girls. We battled. To get the goal early and hold the lead for 40 minutes was great.”
The Phoenix (22-4-1), making the first state appearance in program history, will take on Waubonsie Valley in the third-place game at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Rachel Pappas, North’s leading scorer, gave the Phoenix a quick lead with her 22nd goal of the season. In the seventh minute, Valen Manns took a deep throw-in from near the corner and found Pappas in the box. Pappas’ initial show was blocked, but she got it back and found the net.
“It was really exciting, but we knew we had a long way to go,” Pappas said. “We knew they were going to come at us even harder.”
That fact wasn’t lost on Murphy.
“Sometimes, scoring early isn’t the best thing,” he said. “It’s kind of like waking up a sleeping giant.”
St. Charles East (19-4-5), after coming up empty on a bevy of first-half chances, broke through when Mallory Moltenhauler sent a long ball into the box and found Amanda Hilton at the far post, where Hilton headed it home for the equalizer with 36:25 to go.
Just 108 seconds later, North paid for a rare mistake in the back as Anna Corirosi picked off a failed clearing attempt and scored.
“Going into the second half, we were down 1-0 and we just said we had nothing to lose,” East’s Shannon Rasmussen said. “It was a huge privilege to be here and we just wanted to leave it all on the field. We stepped it up.”
Being outpossessed throughout, the Phoenix’s lone chance to tie it came when Manns’ shot on a free kick from 35 yards out was stopped by East goalie Kendra Sheehan.
When North goalie Bethany Dombkowski (6 saves) was called for taking a goal kick out of the box, the Saints were awarded a free kick and Rasmussen hammered it home for the insurance goal with 3:41 to go.
It was only the second time this season North has given up more than one goal.
“We want to come out (Saturday) and finish with a good game,” North’s Lexi Cesario said. “Finishing third is a heck of a lot better than fourth.”