Since taking over the Riverside-Brookfield High School girls soccer program four years ago, head coach Danny Makaric has worked hard to bring the Bulldogs up to speed with the success of the boys program.
The RBHS girls team took a major step in that direction by claiming its first regional championship under Makaric via a 3-2 double-overtime win against Glenbard South at Carbajal Field in Cicero on Saturday. Freshman standout Allie Kucera scored all three goals, powering RBHS to its own regional title of the Class 2A state playoffs.
“We came from being down 1-0 and 2-1 so it was a great comeback win for us,” Makaric said. “Allie is very talented; it’s a lot of fun coaching her. Ashley Ferguson and Meaghan Dorsey also played great for us.”
The Bulldogs advanced to the final with a 7-0 victory against Solorio Academy in the semifinals. Esther Annoreno and Kucera scored two goals apiece while Anika Marchan, Ashley Ferguson and Vanessa Rizo each contributed a goal. The Bulldogs’ defense also played very well, allowing no shots on goal.
RBHS (13-6-1) faced Wheaton Academy on Tuesday, May 26 (past deadline) in the semifinals of the St. Francis Sectional. Nazareth and the regional host Spartans squared off in the other semifinals. The sectional championship is Friday at 6 p.m.
LTHS edges Fenwick 2-1
Fenwick’s determined defense held Lyons Township scoreless for the first 55 minutes on Saturday, but the Lions’ seven senior starters weren’t going to be denied in their final home game.
Senior Margaret Lynch and junior Ivana Vukanic scored six minutes apart in the second half and the host Lions held on for a 2-1 victory at the Class 3A Lyons Regional final at Bennett Field.
No. 2 seed LTHS (13-4-4), which advances to play No. 3 Downers Grove South in Tuesday’s Hinsdale Central Sectional semifinals (past deadline), now has won three consecutive regional championships and 17 in the past 19 years.
“This win I think was really well-deserved because Fenwick put up a good fight,” Lynch said. “Everyone worked hard overall. I thought our defensive line, most of them are new this year and they really played a hard game.”
The game was a defensive struggle in the first half, with each side mustering only two shots, before the Lions finally solved Fenwick’s defense with 26:57 left in the second half.
Sophomore Mary Devine got around the corner on the right side of the Fenwick defense and crossed to junior Grace Salvino, who flicked the ball to her left to Lynch for a one-timer from six yards out.
Vukanic made it 2-0 with 20:23 to go when she scored on a shot from the right side of the box off a throw-in from senior Kim Vitek.
Seventh-seeded Fenwick (11-7-2) managed only three shots against the Lions’ back line of Vitek, senior Katie Hamor, junior Izy Scott and freshman Catherine Johnson, but one of them was a 36-yard free kick that Caitlin Josephs fired over the head of LTHS goalie Lidia Breen and into the upper left corner of the net with 5:55 remaining.
That made things a little interesting and Fenwick coach Robert Watson proud.
“It was nice to see that one go in for her but we just fell a little bit short and ran out of time,” said Watson, whose team played without three starters due to illness and injury. “We’ve talked all year about how we’ve been resilient as a team. We never quit and that speaks to our character.”
-Matt Le Cren contributed to this roundup