Girls Soccer:Providence's Jamie Noonan (4) wins the ball from Lincoln-Way North's Rita Craven (14), at the IHSA sectional game between Lincoln-Way North and Providence Catholic. | Paul Bergstrom ~ Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 25, 2012 9:19PM
After knocking off the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in Lemont and Lincoln-Way West, respectively, Providence put a scare into the top-seeded hosts in Friday’s Class 2A Lincoln-Way North Sectional title game.
The Cesario sisters, though, weren’t about to let the Phoenix fall short of its first sectional crown in program history.
Kristi and Lexi Cesario each scored and Lincoln-Way North held off seventh-seeded Providence’s second-half surge for a 2-1 win in Frankfort.
North (18-7-1) will meet Normal University High in Tuesday’s Normal West supersectional. Providence closed at 9-14-1.
“We’ve been wanting to do this — have both of us score in a game — all season,” Lexi Cesario did. “We finally did it in a big match.”
Kristi, a senior, started it, poking home a rebound 15 minutes into the match after Providence goalkeeper Tess Barrett (five saves) stopped Jessica Bean’s shot.
Twelve minutes later, the sister act was completed.
Rita Craven sent a free kick from 40 yards into the box, where Grace Sheetz got a head on it and it deflected onto the feet of Lexi Cesario, who finished.
“It kind of came to me and I just put it in,” Lexi Cesario, a sophomore, said. “You can’t quit on a ball. You never know what’s going to happen.”
Providence surged early in the second half and pulled to within one when Kyleigh Maday sent a free kick into the box and Maggie Corso headed it home with 30:48 left.
The Celtics, though, couldn’t find the equalizer.
“We’ve been a second-half team,” Providence coach Dan Potempa said. “I challenged them at halftime and said if we were going to go down, we wanted to go down fighting. It hurts to come up a little bit short, but I’m so proud of our girls.”
Michelle Balcerzak made two saves for North.
“We always talked about how cute it would be if we both scored in a big match,” Kristi Cesario said.
Cute? More like historic.