RIVERSIDE – There's no easy way to lose in the playoffs, but conceding a late overtime goal in a regional final is especially hard to take.
Glenbard South's Sarah Ziegler scored with less than two minutes left in the second overtime period to give the Raiders a 2-1 win against host Riverside Brookfield in a Class 2A regional final on Saturday.
The Bulldogs, who finished the season 7-10-1, fought hard to get a win against their Metro Suburban Conference rivals, but were crushed with a bitter defeat.
“It was a good game, both teams had pretty equal chances," RB coach Danny Makaric said.
Lia Sanchez brought the Bulldogs level by scoring direct off a free kick in the first half to cancel out Michaela Miglio's penalty kick. That was the last goal for over an hour.
Neither team could break the deadlock in regulation and the Raiders got the winner via Ziegler with penalty kicks looking like a possibility.
Makaric lamented the absences of junior starters Ashley Ferguson and Meaghan Dorsey from a team that already lacked experience. The injured pair made it tough for RB to match up against a senior-laden Glenbard South team.
“I played three freshman today," Makaric said. "They have seven seniors. They got the advantage on age. I thought tactically we played a very smart game.”
Seniors Sanchez, Caroline Waas, Amy Zyck and Lily Lisle will depart the program, but Makaric was optimistic about the future.
“We got pretty promising talent coming up for us," the coach said. "The feeder program at 12 years old already has three years together. For next year and year after you’re going to hear about our freshmen coming up. Rebuilding the program is hard, but for probably three or four years we’re going to be very powerful.
“I always joke with coaches that next year I’m going to get you. We are going in right direction. We got support from school and better times are going to come.”