Even though the Lyons girls soccer team cruised to another Class AA regional title last week by outscoring its two opponents 9-0, Alex Hernandez wasn’t all that happy with his team’s play.
After knocking out Riverside Brookfield 7-0 in the regional opener, the Lions earned a sectional berth with a 2-0 win over Leyden.
“Even though we dominated Leyden with 27 shots on goal, we hit 23 shots directly at the keeper,” Hernandez said. “This cannot be the case as we forge onward in the state playoffs.”
Jackie Hanson (six goals, 11 assists) and Beth Talentowski paced the Lions’ attack against RB. The duo recorded two goals apiece, while Katie Rehor and Meg Barron also found the back of the net.
Rehor, Jill Kevorkian, Talentowski, Emma Havlat and Alison Lindeen finished with one assist apiece. Mary Daly and Steph Curtis split the duties in goal.
“With the exception of the Leyden game, I have been extremely happy with our play in the last three weeks,” said Hernandez, whose team was riding a six-game winning streak entering Tuesday’s sectional semifinal showdown against Fenwick. “Our overall play has seemed to improve in regards to possessing and moving the ball.”
As Hernandez has found out in the past, the team that dominates in the postseason isn’t always the one that comes out on top.
“We are creating chances to get in scoring positions from a variety of areas in and around the final third of the field,” Hernandez said. “But that’s just one aspect of the game.”
Kevorkian (nine goals, six assists) and Talentowski managed to finish against Leyden, thanks to assists from Rehor (16 goals, eight assists) and Jen Bert. Daly (10 shutouts) and Curtis split the time in goal once again, but went untested as Leyden failed to record a shot on goal.
“There is always pressure at this time of the year,” Hernandez said. “We are in a weaker sectional in terms of competition compared to others, but that does not relinquish the fact that we are human and can be susceptible to becoming complacent.
“This is one of the things that we have emphasized every single day of training and in pregame talks since the season began. We can’t ever look past an opponent.”
A win over Fenwick would place Hernandez’s crew in Thursday’s sectional final against the winner of Oak Park and Nazareth. The Lyons Sectional winner would then advance to Monday’s Loyola Supersectional at 1 p.m.