DARIEN – It was a defensive battle when the girls soccer teams from Hinsdale South and Downers Grove South met on Tuesday.
The game seemed destined for overtime with under 10 minutes to go and the teams deadlocked in a scoreless tie, but a penalty against Hinsdale South led to a penalty kick for the Mustangs, and they converted for a 1-0 win.
In the process, DGS took the inside lane in the race for the West Suburban Gold title. The Mustangs improved to 2-0 in conference (4-6-2 overall) while the Hornets slipped to 2-1 in the Gold (7-5 overall).
“It was an exciting game,” Hinsdale South head coach Pat Wolf said. “You just want the kids to decide it.”
Three keys to the outcome:
1. Penalty plays a part
The game was physical throughout but foul calls were scarce and no cards were issued. With time winding down in regulation, Hinsdale South’s Sarah Warren was whistled for a foul in the box while battling for possession of the ball. Downers Grove South’s Ava Porlier buried the penalty kick.
“Whether they did something or we did something, we wanted to decide the game, not the ref,” Wolf said. “It was almost like you wanted to get to overtime just to kind of see how it plays out.”
2. On the defensive
Neither team was able to generate much in the way of quality chances. Downers Grove South registered one dangerous shot on net.
Hinsdale South notched four shots on frame, but for the most part the game was played in the middle third of the field.
3. One pass away
As the game progressed, the Hornets enjoyed the better of the attacking rushes but just couldn’t make the final pass to spring a player loose.
Cali Vanderplow made a run behind the Mustangs’ defense late in the first half, but a pass over the top was just out of reach. She would have been in alone on Mustang keeper Jamie Furio.
Jessica Koziol booted a pair of dangerous free kicks in the second half. One was saved by the Mustangs’ Katelyn Laraia, the other sailed just over the cross bar. Cassie Jensen and Courtney Cavalli also had chances in the second half that were saved by Laraia.
“It was a good game. It was a battle,” Wolf said. “The girls played well. We had energy and opportunities and just couldn’t finish our opportunities. They [DGS] played hard, too.”