Since a pedestrian 4-4 start, the Fenwick High School girls soccer team has been on a roll. The Friars are unbeaten in their last seven matches, highlighted by recent shutout victories over area rivals Oak Park and River Forest and Trinity.
Fenwick edged OPRF 1-0 on Saturday, May 4 at Priory Park in River Forest. Juliana Giuffre scored the game-winning goal off an assist from Anissa Nourse. Goalkeepers Audrey Hinrichs and Mary Heneghan combined to post the Friars' 10th shutout this season. Led by senior captain Margaux Shearer, the defense also excelled against the Huskies.
Four days earlier, Fenwick blanked Trinity 4-0.
It didn't take long for the Friars (10-4-1) to establish an early lead against Trinity (7-11), which was missing some key players due to injuries. In the third minute, Nourse raced her way to the goal and then dished off a nice pass to defender Alyssa Ruiz, who drilled it in for a 1-0 lead. In the 37th minute, Nourse converted a penalty kick to raise the Friars' lead to 2-0.
In the second half, goals by junior forward Taylor Hultquist (49th minute) and Nourse (67th minute) sealed the win for Fenwick. Nourse, Courtney Youngerman and Lily Reardon each had an assist in the match, while goalkeepers Heneghan and Hinrichs combined for the clean sheet.
"Coming out victorious against our rivals Trinity and OPRF added to our sense of Friar Pride," Shearer said. "As the season progresses we've come to realize how crucial our team's chemistry is, especially with so many new players. The trust and love we've built for each other are really what lead us to having success on the field."
Nourse echoed Shearer's sentiments about the Friars' recent pair of wins.
"We're very excited to have won our last two games against our neighboring schools," Nourse said. "We played quality soccer as a team. They were great warm-up games for our upcoming opponents.
"We want to continue to improve our communication as a team so we can connect more passes and make the correct runs. Our team has been working very hard at practice and we hope to finish the season strong."
Fenwick is one of three unbeaten Girls Catholic Athletic Conference Red teams. The Friars will need to maintain their excellent defense with upcoming matches against Loyola and St. Ignatius (the other GCAC undefeated teams).
According to Shearer, continuing to foster each player's strengths will be important down the stretch.
"I think that we need to further identify the strengths of each individual," she said. "All of our players have so much talent. It's just a matter of executing where everyone's skills need to be played."