The Riverside-Brookfield High School girls soccer team couldn’t overcome a serious case of senioritis during its 3-0 loss to Morton at Hoffman Stadium in Berwyn last week.
The host Mustangs, who have eight seniors on their roster compared to four seniors for the Bulldogs, scored two goals off corner kicks and midfielder/forward Briana Keska contributed a score to put away RBHS (7-11, 5-1 Metro Suburban Conference).
“Honestly, I thought we were the better passing team [today],” RBHS coach Danny Makaric said. “We were a little slower in the middle, and we just don’t have enough experience to finish the scoring chances we had.”
Morton (7-8-2) applied pressure on the Bulldogs immediately when sophomore Allysa Garcia scored off a corner kick at the 38:15 mark of the opening half. Shannon Fricke scored on a header off Keska’s corner kick extending the
Morton advantage to 2-0 with 6:47 left until halftime.
Keska scored the final goal on a pretty spin and kick combination move, assisted by Tania Paez to make the score 3-0 at 37:51 of the second half.
The Bulldogs’ Lia Sanchez, Amy Zych, Ashly Ferguson, Hannah Claywell and Fiona Larson flirted with the back of the net on several occasions only to come away scoreless.
“We could have probably scored some goals, but it just didn’t happen for us,” Zych said. “When we played bigger schools at the beginning of the season, we kind of struggled. I think we’ve been playing much better.”
For Sanchez, Morton’s Senior Night ostensibly served as a homecoming of sorts. The Bulldogs’ spunky midfielder/forward was blowing kisses to the Mustangs during pregame warmups.”
“Some of my [RBHS] teammates we’re like, ‘Don’t talk to them,'” Sanchez said with a laugh, “but it’s just a game. I was raised in Cicero, so I’ve known most of the [Morton] girls for quite a while, some of them since kindergarten. This is a fun rivalry game.”
Keska offered similar sentiments regarding the annual nonconference clash between the Bulldogs and Mustangs.
“Both teams always play hard,” she said. “The game really came down to which team could possess the ball and win the 50-50 balls. It’s a rivalry, but a friendly one.”
RBHS dropped its other match last week, a 5-1 loss to Hinsdale South. Trailing 3-0 at halftime, the Bulldogs picked up their play with a few key adjustments in the second half. Ferguson scored the lone goal for RBHS in the first 10 minutes before the Hornets responded with a pair of goals off counterattacks.
The Bulldogs turn their attention to the IHSA state playoffs with a 4 p.m. match Wednesday, May 15 against regional host Solorio in a semifinal meeting. With a victory, RBHS will likely meet St. Francis in the Solorio regional final on Friday at 4 p.m.
“I might go with a younger team including four freshmen [against Solorio],” Makaric said. “We think we can get past Solorio, but the smaller field is a bit of a disadvantage for us.
“St. Francis is probably a much better team than us. If we prepare well mentally though maybe we can surprise them.”
Fenwick is the top seed of the RBHS sectional with the Bulldogs seeded sixth.