Girls Soccer: Sarah Mussallem, Jennifer Duffner lead Stagg past Hinsdale South
Updated: March 23, 2012 8:19PM
Jennifer Duffner’s first penalty kick situation of the season came late in the second half Friday. Duffner’s one-handed, diving stab saved the game for Stagg.
The Chargers won their third consecutive game with a 1-0 victory over visiting Hinsdale South Friday. Duffner, Stagg’s junior goalkeeper, made the save of the game, but it wouldn’t have happened without Sara Mussallem’s first goal of the season with 34:21 to go in the second half.
Mussallem took advantage of a Hornets defensive mistake when Betta Bifero overran the ball and stumbled. Mussallem capitalized on the brief error by rocketing a right-footed shot from about 15 yards out past Vanessa Niestrom for the game’s only score.
“It was very nice. It felt good,” Mussallem said. “I think we’re finally playing together. It’s a great start so early in the season. I hope we can keep it up.”
Stagg (3-1) needed Duffner’s left hand for the game-winner. With 8:46 remaining in the game, Alissa Lokanc was taken down in the penalty area by Brianne Pettas. The Hornets (0-4) had a chance to tie the game with a penalty kick, but Jessica Koziol’s attempt, a low liner to the right side of the goal, was stopped by a diving Duffner.
Duffner earned her third consecutive shutout after Stagg beat Marian Catholic 7-0 earlier in the week. Stagg also beat Shepard 1-0. The Chargers open their own tournament on Monday.
“It’s been very stressful,” Duffner said. “I’ve put a lot of weight on my shoulders to make sure this team is not scored on at all.”
The Chargers have allowed only one goal, which came in a 1-0 season-opening defeat to Lockport.
Since losing 4-1 to Benet in its season opener, Hinsdale South has had a patch-work lineup with four starters out with injuries and two players sidelined by concussions. Opponents have outscored the Hornets 13-1 this season. The loss was the first time this season Hinsdale was able to stay within three goals of an opponent.
“It was a good game. I hope they were not too disappointed,” Hinsdale coach Pat Wolf said. “They were in every phase of the game today. Against Lincoln-Way Central (March 20), they scored three goals in 10 minutes. They worked hard. I was proud of their effort.”
Scoring opportunities have been hard to come by for the Hornets, who started a sophomore and a freshman at forward. Other than the penalty kick, Koziol had the best opportunity to score in the first half, but her shot was saved by Duffner despite miscommunication between Stagg defenders.