Despite making her fourth consecutive trip to the Class AA girls soccer state finals, Lyons’ Jackie Hanson couldn’t help but be disappointed as she saw another season come to an end on Friday afternoon.
Since finishing second in 1997, the quarterfinals have been a death trip for the Lions. And that was the case again this season, as Fremd ended Lyons’ postseason run with a 1-0 victory at North Central College in Naperville.
The Lions (15-9-3), who were making their fifth consecutive Elite Eight appearance, now hold a 2-8 record in state finals games since 2000.
“It’s been an exciting and fun four years,” Hanson said. “But it does bother me that we only won one trophy (fourth place in 2006) the past four years.
“We haven’t been able to make it past Friday. I wanted to finish my career playing on the last day, but it just didn’t happen.”
Fremd (22-5), which knocked off Lincoln-Way Central (17-9) in the semifinals before falling 4-0 to Waubonsie Valley (30-0-1) in the state title game on Saturday night, scored the game’s lone goal 10 minutes into the second half.
“I thought we were in pretty good shape when we went into the half tied at 0-0,” Lyons coach Bill Lanspeary said. “We created some chances, and they only had a few chances. But the first 10 minutes of the second half, they came out hard and got the goal they needed.”
The Vikings’ two offensive stars-Janina Lacascio and Caroline VanAcker-combined on the game-winner, with the latter beating Lyons goalie Mary Daly at the 51-minute mark.
“One of their girls came running down and was able to get behind our defense,” Daly said. “Up to that point, we had been doing pretty well. We just made one mistake, and they made us pay.”
As had been the case at times throughout the spring, Lyons was unable to mount consistent pressure on Fremd’s backline. The Lions were only able to get off five shots the entire game, while only having one corner kick.
“We tried doing some different things,” Lanspeary said. “We tried to push more up top, but give them credit. They wouldn’t let us get anything going.”
Hanson said she felt the Lions fell into playing “too much kickball” by trying to play the ball long.
“It was like kickball out there,” said Hanson, who highlights a list of seven seniors graduating. “We would’ve been better trying to play possession.
“We couldn’t possess the ball, because we were always trying to go long. When we play possession, we’re a good team.”
With sectional assignments not expected to change for girls soccer until the spring of 2009, it’s safe to say the Lions will be favored to advance to their sixth consecutive state finals next season.
And no doubt come next spring, all eyes will be on freshmen Steph Condon and Katie Nasenbenny to see how much they have progressed. The two are considered two of the top players in the Class of 2010.