Girls Soccer: Downers South blanks Oak Park-River Forest
Updated: May 18, 2012 9:36PM
Sarrah Ludwig didn’t want to look past Oak Park-River Forest too much Friday night, but she knew exactly who she wanted as Downers Grove South’s next opponent in the playoffs.
Ludwig scored her team-leading 22nd goal of the season to put the third-seeded Mustangs on the scoreboard and DGS cruised from there in a 3-0 victory at sixth-seeded Oak Park-River Forest. DGS won a Class 3A regional title, its first regional title since 2008 and set up a showdown against West Suburban Silver runner-up York at 6:30 p.m. May 22 in the Downers South Sectional semifinal.
Senior Cassidy Herrmann earned her 12th shutout of the season against OPRF (11-9-2), but the Huskies did not take a shot on goal until Tess Trinka’s left-footed shot with 10:04 remaining in the first half. By that time, the Mustangs (16-5-3) had already scored twice and took that lead into halftime.
Ludwig, who will play soccer at Valparaiso, scored the game’s first goal in nearly 10 minutes when she knocked in a deflection off Emily Wauer’s attempt. Wauer was the first to hit the ball from Jessica Bronke’s throw-in.
“I was so pumped to be out there. The ball was there,” Ludwig said. “I needed to put it in the back of the net.”
Rachel Ruggiero scored the second goal off a corner kick from Flo Beshiri with 12:59 to go in the first half. Beshiri scored her own goal with 14:54 remaining in the game when her left-footed shot went off the hands of goalkeeper Katy Oldach and the ball bounced into the net.
“Honestly, this [York] game is one of the games I have looked forward to for all four years,” said Ludwig, who led the girls basketball team in scoring in the winter. “Obviously, the team has looked forward to them.”
DGS will play second-seeded York, a 3-1 regional winner over Fenwick, for the second time in four games. York won the regular season finale May 10, but the Mustangs rested several top players in the game to prepare for their playoff opener.
OPRF’s best opportunity to score came with 19:25 to go in the second half when Meredith Blatner fired from about 20 yards out. Herrmann dove and punched the ball away with her right hand.
Downers South could have scored again nine minutes later, but Bronke’s penalty-kick attempt was stopped by Oldach.
Five OPRF senior starters played their final game of their careers at home. Oldach was a two-year starter and 5-2 Renata Voci, the team captain, spent three years as one of the team’s top defenders. The other senior starters were Katherine Skrine, Mikaela Gillman and Joy Dennis.
“It was my last game, my senior game, and I realized that I could never give up,” Voci said. “Either way it could have gone, I liked having at home. With family and friends, it’s hard to see them at away games.”
Huskies coach Ignacio Ponce ended his first season with only the second regional title loss in the last 10 years for OPRF. The Huskies lost to York in a 2009 regional final.
“My main goal was to finish above .500 when you set goals at the beginning of the year,” Ponce said. “The girls learned a new system, which was hard.”