Girls soccer: Glenbard West surprises Lyons

 
 
Updated 5/27/2022 10:39 PM

On her way to take the penalty kick that would give Glenbard West its first sectional title since 1997, Maeve Repking wasn't thinking about the enormity of the moment.

Instead the senior was focused on what her and her teammates had been working on the past two weeks.

 

Repking then calmly stepped up and sent the host Hilltoppers to Tuesday's Class 3A Sandburg Supersectional with a 2-1 victory over top-seeded Lyons.

The midfielder was one of four Glenbard West players to convert their penalty kicks after the West Suburban Silver foes played to a one-all tie through regulation and two overtime periods.

"I really wanted to take one," Repking said. "We've been practicing them a lot in practice. Walking up, I was focused on my breathing. I didn't think about the circumstances. I thought about the spot I've hit 50 times in practice and doing it for my team.

"Our goal was to bring this program back and take it to a new level."

Also finding the back of the net during penalty kicks were Emmie Roberts, Kendall Walch and Gwen Johnson.

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The Hilltoppers (15-6-1) found themselves in that situation only because of the heroics of Johnson, who answered the Lions goal in the initial overtime session with a perfectly-placed 25-yarder into the left corner of the net shortly into the second overtime period.

"I love this team," Johnson said. "Most of us play on the same club team and we've been working toward this for a long time. Our goal (coming into the season) was to get at least a sectional title.

"I love every single girl on this team. We've been together every day since March 1 and the bond we've built is insane. It is awesome to win this together."

Junior goalie Ava Callaway also did her part, making a save on one penalty kick and seeing another sail wide. Registering seven saves in regulation, she made a diving save in the second overtime to preserve the tie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I'm very proud of our team," Callaway said. "They kept us in it. We lost in PKs earlier in the season (to Plainfield North) and I didn't want that to happen again.

"This is a huge boost of confidence for us and hopefully we can go even further."

The two teams had met back on May 10 with Lyons coming from behind to win 2-1.

"LT, they are an unbelievable program," said Glenbard West coach Adam Szyszko, whose team will take on Lincoln-Way Central next. "This is a huge win for our program. For our seniors, this is their first win over LT. I've been the head coach for four years and we have had four one-goal losses to them. So to get a win is a big deal.

"I'm so happy for our kids, I'm so happy for our coaches, our program and our community. The support tonight was outstanding. It's an unbelievable feeling. All credit to both teams, that was a terrific game."

For the Lions (20-2), the defeat brings an end to an amazing two-year run which included a runner-up finish in Class 3A last season. They compiled a record of 40-3 over that span and even more impressively, yielded just 11 total goals behind goalie Izzy Lee and the back line of Rielly Chesna, Ava Pike, Brennan Israel and Kate Fulscher.

Niamh Griffin's goal had broken the scoreless tie with 6:19 left in the first OT. She found herself in a 1-on-1 situation with Callaway and slipped the ball under the Hilltoppers' goalie. In penalty kicks, Eleanor Musgrove, Pike and Chandlar Lay made their attempts.

"Congratulations to them, they are a good team that is well-coached," said Lyons coach Bill Lanspeary, whose team's only previous lost was to Naperville North on April 29. "I'm really proud of our kids. The result tonight doesn't change any of that. It was a heck of a season and a tremendous run. We got a bit unlucky tonight.

"To make a run like (last year) and then like this, you have to be really good and you have to get a break here and there. We were right there, we were this close. You feel for the seniors, it's a tremendous group. On the field, off the field, the character they have and they leadership they provided, they took what we did last year and built off that."

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