Freshmen duo power Lemont to win
Updated: May 31, 2011 10:44PM
PEORIA - Kim Jerantowski and Kelly Fritz were seventh graders when Lemont finished second in the Class 2A girls soccer tournament two years ago.
They are freshmen now, but only formally. They played like veterans Tuesday night in helping lead the Indians to a 2-0 victory over host Notre Dame in their Class 2A supersectional.
The outcome vaults Lemont (22-4) into Friday’s 11 a.m. state semifinal match against Marian Central Catholic of Woodstock at Naperville Central. Wheaton Academy, which knocked off Lemont in the 2009 Class 2A championship match, plays Troy Triad in the second semifinal.
Jerantowski, a forward, controlled the pace of the match more often than not - once the Indians took the best the Irish had to offer in the first 15 minutes. And Fritz, the goalkeeper, was flawless again. It was her fifth shutout in as many playoff matches.
“They’re great,” said senior defender Elise Cody. “We’re really lucky to have them.”
Luck had nothing to do with the outcome, and Cody began to make sure of that 15:11 into the contest, when she took Abby Valentino’s perfect feed from the left side and headed it past Notre Dame goalkeeper Corri Davis.
“It was a beautiful service, and I was able to beat the defender and put it in,” Cody said of her fourth tally of the season. “It definitely relieved a lot of pressure.”
It also triggered a defensive clampdown. The big play before halftime was Lemont defender Amy Skowronski’s block of Megan O’Brien’s shot off a give-and-go midway through the half.
After the intermission, Fritz made the save that really sealed the outcome, a point-blank stop on sophomore Hailey Parungao.“The few shots they had were not that bad,” Fritz said. “The energy we had was fantastic.”
The Indians, rooted on by many in the crowd of 500, poured it on. At 11:27 of the second half, about 90 seconds after Jerantowski hammered a shot off the crossbar, Morgan Rex curled a cross into the net for a 2-0 advantage. The Irish had scored only three times in their previous two games. They would score not at all on this occasion.
“It might have been some of the best we’ve played all year long,” Indians coach Rick Prangen said. “For 80 minutes, Kim Jerantowski was phenomenal. The discipline our girls showed was tremendous. To come down here 2½ hours and beat them on their home pitch and beat them 2-0? Absolutely brilliant.”
Notre Dame, which had won seven straight, closes 10-10-3.