LEMONT – The Lemont girls soccer team passed one test last weekend in the Quad Cities.
This weekend, the Indians face an even greater challenge.
For the 10th consecutive year, the squad is hosting the Lemont Invitational, which features the likes of Waubonsie Valley, Sandburg and Andrew.
“Waubonsie Valley is the best team in the tournament right now,” said Lemont coach Rick Prangen. “They’ve won it every year they have been in it. They are a perennial powerhouse. We are the smallest school in it and that is by design.”
The Indians will open the event on Friday against Lincoln-Way East.
“They’ve always been a big rival of ours for a very long time,” the coach said. “When we were coming up as a program, they were a litmus test for where we were at. Now things have evened up a bit.
“They will work hard, and it will be a physical game. It will be a real soccer game.”
With the postseason right around the corner, Prangen will get a clearer picture of just where his team stands.
“I’ll know more after this weekend,” he said. “I’m hoping we get something out of it. All the teams (in the tournament), you have to play well to win. That’s what I want right now. I’ll be happy to get three good games this weekend.”
On Tuesday, Lemont defeated Richards 7-0 behind three goals from Kim Jerantowski. Kelly Fritz recorded her eighth shutout in goal.
A day earlier, the Indians beat Reavis 3-1 with Jerantowski, Reilly Sullivan and Lauren Lumsden each scoring.
The team was coming off a 2-1 mark at the Moline Invite, picking up a 2-1 victory over Pleasant Valley (Iowa) behind goals from Lumsden and Nicole McKevitt and a win in penalty kicks over the host team before falling 1-0 in the final to Highland Park.
Against Moline, Savannah Brija scored in regulation and also added the winning penalty kick after Fritz made a pair of saves.
Lemont played without leading scorer Alek Mihailovic, who was injured in the April 23 match with TF North.
“We had a good tournament,” Prangen said. “We competed, and we played hard.”