Girls Soccer: Katherine Petrovich’s OT goal sends St Viator to state semis

Updated: May 29, 2012 10:48PM

Katelyn Hammarlund could have fallen down when she was bumped in the penalty area while driving the left end line in the fifth minute of overtime at Tuesday’s Class 2A Barrington Supersectional.

But the St. Viator star didn’t want to gamble that the referee would decline to award a penalty kick, so she stayed upright, somehow kept the ball in and slid a pass across the crease to Katherine Petrovich, who buried the short shot to give the Lions a 1-0 victory over Freeport.

St. Viator (15-8-4) advanced to the state semifinals for the second time in three seasons. The Lions will take on St. Francis, which edged Benet 2-1 on penalty kicks, at 11 a.m. Friday at North Central College in Naperville.

“I’m normally not really one to go down, so when I stumble or they trip me like that, they’re always a step behind, so that gives me an opportunity to make the final push,” Hammarlund said. “I had the momentum with me that time and then found Katherine. She had a great run in and then she finished it.”

For a split second, no one reacted because Freeport goalie Robyn Maxey attempted to clear the ball out but the ball rebounded off a defender into the net. That caused the Lions to storm the field, but Petrovich said the ball crossed the line before Maxey touched it.

“I saw [Hammarlund] running in so I just kept running and she passed it right to me,” Petrovich said. “I was just hoping I wouldn’t overrun it.”

St. Viator coach Mike Taylor marveled at Hammarlund’s decisive play.

“She’s played unbelievable for the last eight games,” Taylor said. “Since we moved her up front she’s become a leader. She got clipped and could have gone down, but she stayed up, put a ball across and we’ve told the girls to crash the goal.”

St. Viator didn’t play its best game, but the combination of St. Louis recruit Hammarlund and junior Chloe Luthringshausen gradually wore down the defense of the Pretzels (20-5-1), who were making their supersectional debut, late in the match. Luthringshausen had a shot that Maxey barely kept out of the goal and then with 1:15 left in regulation Hammarlund’s sharp header off a Petrovich corner kick was on target but saved.

“We had four dangerous chances,” St. Viator coach Mike Taylor said. “They were tiring down and those two girls are in shape, trust me.”

The Lions have learned to trust Taylor during an injury-plagued season in which the team has not played a single game with its regular starting lineup. Everyone is now healthy except for senior Molly McMahon, whose career was ended by a concussion.

“Taylor always said we would [qualify for state], but with the amount of injuries we had I was always a little skeptical about it, to be honest,” Petrovich said. “But that final week when we got the majority [of everyone] back I started to feel like we had the potential to be right where we are now.”

Goalie Morgan Hess had to make only two saves to record St. Viator’s fifth straight playoff shutout.

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