Girls Soccer: Upstart Lockport ousts Metea Valley

Lockport feels like it is the Rodney Dangerfield of high school girls soccer.

The Porters, who had never won a regional before this year, haven’t gotten any respect, but that is about to change.

No. 10 Lockport continued its unlikely playoff run Wednesday night by stunning No. 8 Metea Valley 1-0 in the Class 3A Naperville North Sectional semifinals. While third-seeded Metea Valley dominated the action in a match between teams making their sectional debuts, it was the seventh-seeded Porters who finished their only scoring chance when junior Abby Brehm knocked in a cross from Lexi Cozzi 84 seconds into the second half.

Brehm has now scored the game-winning goal in two consecutive games. She also had the only goal in Lockport’s 1-0 upset of No. 2 seed Naperville Central in the regional finals.

“They had a lot of chances today but luckily we got ours in the back of the net, unlike they did,” Brehm said. “[Cozzi’s assist] was perfect. She beat the girl down line, [hit a] perfect cross and I luckily got a foot on it at the end.”

Though the Porters (18-7) were outshot 12-4 and spent the majority of the game defending, they were able to post their fifth straight shutout and 12th of the season thanks to goalie Courtney Jerzy, who made five of her six saves during an early Metea blitz, and tough defense led by Lauren Labanauskas, Michelle Schultz and Frannie Vargas.

“Courtney did an amazing job today,” Brehm said. “She had a lot of great saves and our defensive line is just really aggressive and they’re really good at getting balls out of the air, so they just boot it up under pressure. But when they’re not they’re good at controlling it and connecting the ball.”

Metea Valley (17-5), which eliminated the Porters in double overtime on the same field in last year’s regional opener, controlled and connected passes consistently but couldn’t finish on numerous chances in front of the net.

Jenna Kentgen had one shot hit the underside of the crossbar and bounce down on the goal line in the first half and saw several other hard shots saved. In the second half, Vargas barely cleared a ball off the Lockport goal line following a corner kick.

“We should have been up 6-0,” Metea Valley coach Pat Feulner said. “We had a ball in the box how many times bouncing around and the thing don’t go in. What do you say?

“In 22 years I guess I’ve seen it all but, man, I’ll tell you, I don’t know that I’ve seen as bad as tonight, not to dominate a team like we did and not have something to show for it. It is tough because we had our goals set high. We thought we could have got Naperville North and it just wasn’t to be, so credit to them.”

Instead, it will be the Porters who take on top-seeded Naperville North (20-1-2) in Friday’s sectional title game.

“I think that this year our program was coming out as the underdog because no one really had respect for us and in the past we didn’t really have that good of a record,” Brehm said. “But now that we’re gaining momentum as we go forward in the state tournament I think people are starting to respect us.”

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