Riverside Brookfield girls soccer coach Laure Kosey is trying to keep things in prospective when it comes to her team’s postseason showdown with Lyons tonight in Countryside.
“It’s only our fourth season as a varsity program, and each year we’ve moved up in terms of our sectional seed,” Kosey said. “We’ve played better each year, but unfortunately this year we drew Lyons. We were going to have to play them sooner or later, so that’s the way we’re looking at it.”
After being seeded last four years ago, the Bulldogs (7-8-1) are the No. 12 seed in the Class AA Lyons Sectional this spring.
“Lyons is going to be quite a challenge,” Kosey said. “We’re just hoping to play a solid 40 minutes in the first half, and then make some adjustments at the half.”
The top-seeded Lions (15-6) are in search of their record fourth consecutive state quarterfinal berth. Since the IHSA split girls soccer into two classes, New Trier is the only other program in the state outside of Lyons to pull off that feat.
“We have to take things one step at a time and see what the end result is,” said Kosey, who pointed to Anna Patterson, Shannon Doer and Anna Galindo as the key three that need to have big games.
As the case has been all season, Katie Rehor, Jill Kevorkian, Courtney Curby and Jackie Hanson are the four that make Lyons go.
“We have been playing well of late,” said Lyons coach Alex Hernandez, whose team enters the postseason riding a five-game winning streak. “We’re healthy and ready.”
Hernandez admitted he doesn’t know anything about RB, but knows what his team is in for.
“We have been in this sectional the past couple of years, so I think I have a good idea of the ability we’re going to be facing,” Hernandez said. “We’ll get out there and attack, and we’ll see what they have. We’ll neutralize their strength and take it from there.”
Mary Daly has nine shutouts in goal for Lions, which will be pushed a lot harder this postseason compared to ones in the past.
“We’re going to demand the kids to keep playing the one-touch style that we’ve been playing all year,” Hernandez said. “In the past, we’ve gone through this sectional and then got Downstate and been run over in our first game.
“Part of that has to do with the sectional we’re in. We get used to holding onto the ball too long, and not playing at the speed you need to play at to compete with the premier teams in the state.”
After finishing fourth in 2003, the Lions have dropped their last two quarterfinals games.
“I’m not going to kick the gift horse in the mouth for our sectional, because I know we could be in a war if we were put in the Naperville-area sectional,” Hernandez said. “But we need to step up this year, and our seniors realize that. We want to be playing on the most important Saturday of the season, so we can bring home some hardware.”