Crystal Lake South advances in OT
Updated: May 24, 2011 11:08PM
The shot bent, knuckled, and seemed to make a sharp left-turn dive once it reached a spot between the goalkeeper and the post.
Then pandemonium ensued for Crystal Lake South.
After a scoreless tie through regulation play between the Gators and Rockton Hononegah, South’s Kali Loescher put one of the few shots on net her side managed to find in their Class 3A sectional semifinal game at Jacobs.
Loescher’s shot found a way through, sending South to its second sectional title game in program history.
“I thought she saved it and when it went in…I didn’t even know what to do, I was so excited,” Loescher said. “Just a lucky shot, I guess. But we know how to do overtimes. We’ve been in four of them this year so we were ready for this.”
After playing a sideline-to-sideline, end-to-end game, Loescher put an exclamation point on a hard day’s work less than three minutes into the first overtime period.
The South senior dribbled up from midfield, zigged a little, zagged a little, and let fly with the game-winner.
“I wouldn’t trade her for anyone,” Gators coach Brian Allen said of Loescher. “She was everywhere today.”
After winning its first regional title in seven years, the Gators (18-7-2) head to a sectional final against Barrington (16-6-1), a 1-0 winner over Huntley in the night’s first game in Algonquin.
“We’ll keep doing what we’re doing,” Allen said. “Our schedule showed us that we can defend against some of the best teams in the state, so that’s what we plan to do.”
Hononegah (18-2-2) possessed well and sent more than a few dangerous serves into the Gators’ penalty area, but South keeper Elizabeth Quinn was the picture of fearless aggression off her line on Tuesday.
“I hesitated too much in our regional game (a 3-2 shootout win over Prairie Ridge) so I wanted to stop thinking too much and just play,” Quinn said. “I can’t believe this. To lose so many players from last year’s team and make it this far – it feels amazing.”