HINSDALE — It was only the first step toward a larger goal, but what a step.
Hinsdale Central’s girls soccer team went a full 80 minutes and more to score a 2-1 win over West Suburban Silver-rival Lyons Township on Tuesday after the game went to penalty kicks to settle what was a 1-1 tie.
“The game was supposed to start at 7, but it didn’t begin until 7:30 and we didn’t leave the field until 10,” Central coach Michael Smith said. “It was a long night, but the rewards of a victory made it sweeter.”
The win Tuesday put the Red Devils ahead of both the LT and York in the race for the WSS crown. The Lions and Dukes both have one loss in conference, but Central was scheduled to play at York Thursday in a de facto WSS title game.
Against LT, a long free kick midway though the first half found its way past Central keeper Riley Glenn and into the net for a 1-0 Lyons lead, but the Red Devils (9-3-2 overall, 4-0 WSS) leveled the score 1-1 by halftime and Glenn was flawless the rest of the way.
“The first goal, she would admit she did not play it as well as she should have,” Smith said of Glenn. “But in the PKs she made a huge save on their fifth shooter to seal it, and that was her way of saying, ‘I wanted to right the wrong.’ She’s a third-year varsity player so she understands the high stakes of Lyons Township against Hinsdale Central.”
Meghan Schick, who converted the fifth and final penalty kick for Central, scored with just over 10 minutes left in the first half to knot the score. Both teams then settled into a defensive battle.
“Both teams generated some very dangerous opportunities after the first half,” Smith said, “but because both teams are so well organized and defensively focused, it was a struggle. They showed us some new things.”