ELMHURST — The Lyons Township girls soccer team has struggled to score in the run of play, but they’ve been able to make up for it on set pieces.
The Lions scored twice on set pieces on Tuesday at York, including Catherine King’s 35-yard free kick golden goal in overtime, to win their West Suburban Silver opener 2-1.
The Dukes (3-2-1, 1-1 WSS) scored just 38 seconds into the match when Kylie Bowman dispossessed a Lyons defender in the back and connected with an open Alyssa Kovatchis in the box. Kovatchis finished to score on Lyons, something no team did in all six Silver matches last spring.
In the 25th minute King hit a free kick into the box and Indiana-bound Ari Kowalski flicked it over Dukes’ goalkeeper AnnaBell Lansdowne (7 saves).
“She just placed it six feet in front of me and I just got a touch on it and volleyed it in off the bounce,” Kowalski said.
Neither team scored again in regulation until King’s goal in the 95th minute won the match.
In a bizarre twist, there was some confusion over the overtime rules. The teams continued to play after King's golden goal and York's Jamie Kovatchis scored with nine seconds left in the overtime. After time expired the teams conferred with officials and made a call to a WSC official to confirm whether the overtime rules included a golden goal or if the full time was to be played out. LT was awarded the victory after it was confirmed that the game was over after King's goal.
Through four matches LT (2-0-2, 1-0) has five goals and in the season opener against Waubonsie Valley the Lions scored two more goals off free kicks.
“We didn’t know it coming in, but so far it’s obviously been huge,” said LT coach Bill Lanspeary about his team’s success on set pieces. “We got kids who can strike the ball and they’re dangerous for sure. I’m thrilled with that, but it’d be nice to get more through the flow of play.”
York had more chances, including an Ellie Ordonez chip that beat goalkeeper Lidia Breen (3 saves) but somehow rolled just wide of the post. The Dukes couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities.
“It was a tremendous team building game for us because it really shows what the girls can do when they all work together,” said York coach Chris Halupka. “I’m confident in our ability to play against good teams and to do well against them. Then it’s just a matter of luck being on our side and getting those bounces to go in.”