Any concerns of a soccer “hangover” for the Fenwick girls soccer team after their disappointing 2-1 loss to eventual state champion Glenwood in the Class 2A State semifinals didn’t surface in the Friars’ third-place match against Lemont on Saturday.
Instead, the rejuvenated Friars performed to rave reviews in their 1-0 win over the Indians en route to the best finish (boys or girls) in Fenwick soccer history. The Friars finished 20-6-4 on the spring.
“There were a lot of tears but we knew we had to bounce back,” said midfielder Cali Pyzdrowski about the Friars’ semifinal loss. “No boys or girls team in Fenwick history has ever finished third in the state so we knew we had to bring it [today].”
Pyzdrowski scored the game’s lone goal against Lemont with 34:18 remaining when the senior kicked in a rebound shot off Maddie Stupinksi’s header which hit the right post.
“I literally feel like I run around [the field] all the time,” Pyzdrowski said, “so when you’re right in front of the goal, you’ve just got to put it away.”
Freshman Colette Jaslowski initiated the game-winning play on a well-placed corner kick.
“We just wanted to win so much and we played with a lot of heart,” Jaslowski said. “We’re a great team with a lot of strong players. I think everybody felt we came too far [this season] not to place at state.”
The goal capped off Pyzdrowski’s stellar senior campaign after opting to play club soccer the previous three seasons. She will play college soccer at Marquette next season.
Defensively, Fenwick goalie Jesse Cwik had five saves against Lemont. She only allowed 22 goals in 23 games
“Jesse was phenomenal all year for us,” Fenwick coach Robert Watson said. “This was Jesse and Cali’s first year playing high school soccer, so they were both huge additions. Aside from being very athletic, Jesse is as tough as nails.”
The Friars will lose 13 seniors to graduation, notably Bridget Hillsman who missed the state finals due to a couple of concussions she suffered over the past month. Hillsman, who will play college soccer at Providence, finished with a team-high 14 goals and dished out eight assists this season.
“It’s been an amazing year,” Hillsman said. “Honestly, I couldn’t have dreamed a better end to my high school career. The girls on our team are like my family and our soccer kept getting better. [Today] is a bittersweet ending to a perfect year.”
Lauren Frank (10 goals, six assists), Caroline Murphy (nine goals), Pyzdrowksi (eight goals, four assists), and Emily McGann (six goals, 10 assists) also sparked the Friars’ diversified attack.
“It’s a nice way to finish the season,” Watson said. “This is the first time we didn’t end the season with a loss so it’s nice to go out smiling.”