The Lyons Township High School girls soccer team erased the bitter memory of last season’s early departure from the playoffs with a 3-0 win over Glenbard East in Saturday’s LTHS regional final.
The Lions advance to the Hinsdale Central sectional, where LTHS will face Wheaton-Warrenville South in a semifinal, while the host Red Devils meet Benet in the other semifinal.
LTHS (15-4-2), which earned its 15th regional championship since 1997, secured safe passage into the next round of the postseason by employing an efficient and physical style of soccer against the Rams at Bennett Field on May 18.
Emily Lange opened the scoring with a goal at the 37:50 mark of the first half. Midway through the first half, LTHS struck again on Erin Fitzgerald’s goal, extending the Lions’ lead to 2-0.
“One of our players had a shot which went to the [Glenbard East] central defender,” Fitzgerald said about her score. “She took a bad touch on the ball, and I just capitalized on the opportunity. I kicked the ball low and hard, and it went in the left corner.”
Promising freshman Grace Salvino knocked home the Lions’ final goal off a defensive miscue Glenbard East (11-6-4). LTHS previously had beaten Glenbard East 2-0 on May 4 to complete a season sweep.
Sophomore goalkeeper Lidia Breen along with defenders Catherine King, Grace Nasenbenny, Sarah Drew, Isabelle Scott, C.C. Holbert and Liza Gabrek severely limited the Rams’ scoring looks.
LTHS has outscored the opposition 54-11 over 21 games this spring.
“Our defensive backfield has been solid all year,” LTHS coach Will Lanspeary said. “We really limit chances other teams get offensively. We’ve also been dangerous going forward offensively.”
The only disappointment for LTHS Saturday occurred at 24:13 of the first half when senior forward Abbie Pasquinelli left the game due to a left knee injury.
“We don’t know exactly what [the injury] is yet, because my knee is really swollen,” Pasquinelli said. “It could be a sprain in my MCL [medial collateral ligament], but we’ll know more over the next couple of days.
“The girls did an awesome job and it was great to see the team come together.”
If LTHS gets by Wheaton-Warrenville South in the Hinsdale Central sectional semis, the Lions will likely get another shot at Hinsdale Central in the sectional championship game.
The Red Devils edged the Lions 2-1 on penalty kids earlier this season to clinch the West Suburban Conference Silver Division title.