LEMONT — For a Lemont soccer program that has captured eight consecutive conference titles, the Indians’ biggest tests often come from outside the league.
On April 11, one of those opportunities presented itself and the squad passed the challenge with flying colors, playing Downers Grove South to a 1-1 draw. Alex Mihailovic scored Lemont’s goal off a corner kick from Kim Jerantowski.
“We played our best game of the season,” said Lemont coach Rick Prangen. “We played really well and that was a big test for us. We started six underclassmen and used a little different formation but they responded well. The work rate was very good and the goal was well-earned.”
Returning to South Suburban Conference action on Tuesday, the Indians breezed to an 8-0 victory over Evergreen Park. Mihailovic netted a hat trick and Nicole McKevitt scored a pair of goals, including one on a penalty kick.
Kelly Fritz notched her seventh shutout in goal.
“The nice thing was we had talked about when you are playing a team that has never beaten you,” the coach said, “you want to set a tone right away. And we did that in the first 20 minutes. That showed maturity on their part.”
Mihailovic is the team’s leading scorer through nine games (6-1-2 record) while midfielder Kim Jerantowski is playing at another level.
“For Alex, being a sophomore vs. being a freshman is a difference,” Prangen said. “In the box, she is a good goal scorer. She is doing what we expected her to do. She is a big part of the team.
“And Kim is a special player. I haven’t seen a better player than her this year; she is one of the better players in the area. Very few players can put a team on their back and she is that good. Her will to win is great to see. In 21 years doing this, I’ve come across special players and she is one of them for us.”
After traveling to Reavis on Thursday, Lemont will play host to TF North Tuesday before heading to the Moline Invite on April 26-27.
“It’s still early in the season,” Prangen said. “In our non-conference tests, we’ve done pretty well. We go to Moline and then we have our own tournament (May 3-4) which includes Sandburg, Waubonsie Valley, Andrew and Lincoln-Way East. Those will be big tests and we will see where we are at.”