Girls Soccer: Shepard sinks TF United
Updated: May 16, 2012 8:45PM
Just how much confidence does Shepard coach Scott Wilkins have in freshman Aubrey Quick?
When the Astros earned a penalty kick early in Wednesday’s match, Wilkins had no doubt that Quick, playing in her first playoff game, would deliver.
“I was kind of nervous,” Quick said. “When I went up there, I just told myself, ‘I got this.’ I knew I had to be confident.”
Quick converted the penalty and later added a second goal as Shepard came out of a wild first half with a 3-2 lead and held on to defeat host Thornton Fractional United by the same score in a Class 3A regional semifinal in Calumet City.
The Astros (13-8), who have won nine straight, will meet Homewood-Flossmoor in Saturday’s final.
After Quick’s penalty kick 14 minutes in, T.F. United (17-4), and its own sensational freshman, were quick to answer.
Monica Munoz got the ball near midfield and beat two defenders and Shepard goalie Maris Libera (3 saves) to tie the game with 21 minutes left in the first half.
Shepard got goals from Alyssa Braun and Quick in the next eight minutes to take a 3-1 lead.
But T.F. United took just seconds to pull back to within one as Andrea Munoz scored off a long pass on the restart.
The Astros defense picked up its play in the second half and dodged a few bullets in the final 15 minutes to hold on.
“We just knew it was going to be a battle,” Wilkins said. “(T.F. United coach Alejandro Lagunas) has done an awesome job with his team and we weren’t happy to have to play them.”
T.F. United, which fell to Shepard by the same score during the regular season, ends one of its most successful years in program history.
“It’s sad to end like this, but I’m very proud of our girls,” Lagunas said. “I knew we had something special with this group.”