Girls Soccer: Downers South clips Glenbrook South in PKs for third place

Story Image April Cronin (20) of Glenbrook South tries to keep the ball away from Shannon Snyder (12) of Downers Grove South. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media

Updated: June 2, 2012 10:33PM

Cassidy Herrmann turned herself into a quick study.

A sprinter in swimming and volleyball player, Herrmann made her only year as a soccer player a deeply memorable one.

The Downers South senior keeper made two brilliant saves during the penalty kick shootout that helped the No. 7 Mustangs edge No. 5 Glenbrook South 2-1 in Class 3A third-place game Saturday at North Central College in Naperville.

The victory was an emotional one for the Mustangs, who ended the celebrated 29-year coaching career of Barry Jacobson with the comeback victory. “We wanted to do it for our seniors, and also for our coaching staff in their last game,” junior midfielder Brittany Dietz said.

Her goal secured the victory by providing the Mustangs with a 4-2 advantage. “I just knew I had to get it in there,” Dietz said. The heroics belonged to Herrmann. She stopped two Titans’ shots, including one by junior star forward April Cronin, that gave the Mustangs the momentum.

“I’m new to this, but we spent a lot of time practicing against penalty kicks,” Herrmann said. “The coaches work with me to not look at them, but look at their position and how they attack the ball.”

Herrmann also withstood a barrage of shots in the first half to maintain a scoreless tie.

Downers South’s Sarrah Ludwig, Jessica Pikul and Flo Beshiri also scored the Mustangs (20-6-3) during the shootout phase. “Both teams played a good game,” Jacobson said. “You set to go out in the state finals with a win, so I’ll take it.”

Jacobson finished his sterling career 489-58-57. The third-place finish marks the fifth state trophy during his 28-year tenure with the Mustangs.

Glenbrook South (21-6-4) drew first blood after freshman midfielder Kaily Bruch scored on a rebound in the 56th minute. “I thought we had a lot more opportunities than yesterday [against Naperville North],” Glenbrook South coach Seong Ha said.

“We wanted to be the aggressor and be the first to score. The problem when you score first, the other team is really energized sometimes to come back and score as well.”

Downers South responded in the 62nd minute on senior midfielder Jessica Bronke’s header off a beautifully designed corner from Beshiri. “We were getting a little frustrated up until then,” Ludwig said. “We came in with the goal of finishing the season strong, and that’s what we did, we came in with the attitude of doing whatever we had to in order to win.”

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