BROOKFIELD – If only Hinsdale South’s girls soccer team could have bottled the magic of the first 20 minutes.
The Hornets delivered the first blow against St. Francis in Wednesday’s Class 2A sectional semifinal at Riverside Brookfield as Brenda Maugeri buried Jessica Mutters’ cross for a 1-0 lead in the first 20 minutes.
But the Spartans struck back with two goals before halftime and held on for a 2-1 win that ended South’s season.
“We had energy to start and were playing good,” South coach Pat Wolf said. “We had other opportunities but we just couldn’t finish them off.”
St. Francis leveled the score not long after Maugeri tallied, and eight minutes before halftime the Spartans struck again, and the lead held the rest of the game.
It was a bittersweet end for the Hornets (11-10). Sweet because they captured their first regional title since 2008 with a 7-1 win over Nazareth on May 17. Bitter because they have to say goodbye to a sizable group of seniors that provided the backbone of the team for several seasons.
“The girls really played hard and I told them I’m proud of them because we hadn’t got that far for some time,” Wolf said. “The last couple games were our best games of the season, and that’s what you want. I feel proud but I also feel sad because the seniors don’t get another shot at this.
“They’ve been strong leaders for us for a long time. We wanted to go a little farther, especially for the seniors.”