Girls soccer: Libertyville, Glenbrook N. advance to sectional final at Warren
Libertyville avenged its regular season finale defeat to league rival Stevenson with a 4-1 thrashing of the No. 2 Patriots Tuesday night to advance into Friday's Class 3A Warren sectional final against top seed Glenbrook North (20-1-1) which beat Fremd earlier 3-0.
"We lost the NSC title to Stevenson but we came back to win an ever bigger, and more important (game) tonight," said senior Sally Grace Rogers, who put the finishing touches on the Wildcats (16-4-3) dominating performance.
"I thought for the first 18 minutes we had most of the play, but after that, it was all Libertyville, who clearly were the better team tonight," said Patriots coach PepeJon Chavez.
"When we beat them two weeks ago we were a 91/2 out of 10 in what we asked the girls to (do). Tonight it was more like 2 out of 10. We collectively did not show up in a game between two great teams."
The Patriots got the start they were looking for when Mimi VanZanten went just inside the post to claim the opener in the 10th minute. But a composed Avery Gleason, who scored twice on the night, bagged the equalizer in the 20th minute.
Dakota Lyons would use her terrific speed to chase down a ball deep in the Patriots end. After doing so, she turned and dribbled free of a pair of challengers before unloading an unstoppable shot into the far back post -- much to the delight of a raucous Wildcats faithful.
Playing in front just two minutes into the second half, the No. 3 seed Wildcats saved their best for the last half of the second period to put this contest out of reach.
Terrific combination play between Paige Gleason, Lyons and finally Jenna Krakowski ended with Avery Gleason steering in her low drive into the back of the net at 60 minutes -- leading to Rogers' header at the back post when she found herself all along to meet a Krakowski corner.
"It was great scoring four tonight, but our back line was amazing all night long, and it was a big reason why we won this game," said Lyons of Pru Babat, Riley Brennan, Audrey Brua, Stella Bechtold and Rogers, who all turned in impressive minutes in front of keeper Kate Hopma.
Glenbrook North 3, Fremd 0:
Glenbrook North scored three goals in the second half to take control of a fierce sectional semifinal and defeat No. 6 Fremd 3-0 to advance in its first sectional final in program history Friday.
The Vikings (12-7-3), who stunned No. 3 Warren last Friday in a shootout, came into this contest hoping to do the same. And for the first 50 minutes they gave the top-seeded Spartans (20-1-1) all they could handle until their star forward Margy Porta bagged what would be the eventual game-winner in the 54th minute.
"They are so talented, and No. 3 (Porta) has great speed and control on the ball. But I thought we fought hard and played with a lot of energy, winning most of the 50-50 balls to help slow them down," said Vikings senior Anna Schmitt.
Schmitt was a key figure along with midfield partner Kaitlyn Rodi and sophomore Gemma Gillespie, who turned in a terrific 80-minute effort, first along the back, and later when moved into the middle after the Porta opener.
"Fremd makes you play their way with their physical, nonstop play, and for us, I think we came out a little nervous today. But once we scored the first (the) game opened up for us," said Porta, who now has 21 goals on the season.
The Spartans stunned the Vikings with two quick goals to insure their victory -- the first coming from Kate Leverenz, then Ella Panek two minutes apart.
"We had a great run here at the end, we hoped to make it last longer, but we left it all out there tonight, and that's something we can be proud of," said Schmitt.
-- Mike Garofola
Deerfield and Lake Forest advanced to Friday's Class 2A sectional final. Deerfield defeated Wauconda 6-2 followed by Lake Forest shutting out St. Viator, 1-0.