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Height advantage a key to Lions’ playoff run

Published: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 12:30 p.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:50 p.m. CST
Caption
(Erica Benson - ebenson@shawmedia.com)
Lyons Township's Grace Nasenbenny (left) battles for possession of the ball in a sectional semifinal game against York on May 27. Nasenbenny and the Lions have used their height to their advantage during the playoffs.

DOWNERS GROVE – It's not hard to notice the overall height of Lyons Township's girls soccer team, and the Lions have leveraged it well.

LT won a sectional title on Friday to advance to Tuesday's supersectional against Lincoln-Way North. The Lions defeated Benet 3-0 for the sectional title after beating York 5-2 in a sectional semifinal.

The Lions scored three goals off corner kicks against York and had two against Downers Grove South in the regional final.

"We have a lot of tall people who can get on the end of it and I just try and look for anyone in there and hopefully they can get to it," said senior defender Grace Nasenbenny, who takes corners for the Lions.

Catherine King, who headed in a corner kick against York, is one of a number of tall players for the Lions. Emily Lange, Erin Fitzgerald and Izzy Scott also give Nasenbenny a number of options to look for in the box.

"We've got a lot of height in the box and we're not afraid to go in for it," King said. "I think that really helps. We've got Grace Nasenbenny taking wonderful corners and they're always on spot."

In addition to King's goal against the Dukes, Katie Dougherty scored twice, Sarah Drew converted a penalty kick and Fitzgerald headed in a corner.

LT entered the supersectional on a seven-match winning streak and had scored at least three goals in six of those matches, including all four playoff games.

Fitzgerald scored from a free kick in the sectional final win against Benet. Sophomores Bridget Kirby and Gabby Hart scored in the second half to secure the victory.

A number of players contributed en route to the sectional title and many of the LT players are showing plenty of confidence by dribbling right at defenders.

"I think a lot of our players focus a lot on ball skill and that's one of the things that we take a lot of pride in," said senior left back C.C. Holbert. "That's something we try and do and I think each of us individually is really good on the ball so that's something that's been a strength for our team this year."

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