It was a valiant effort by the Libertyville girls soccer team Tuesday afternoon when the No. 3-seeded Wildcats took on No. 1 Evanston in a two-overtime marathon at the Class 3A New Trier supersectional.
But despite numerous chances to take a lead, Libertyville (17-4-2) came up short in its bid to reach the Final Four this weekend as the Wildkits posted a 2-0 victory in double overtime to advance to the state tournament semifinals. Evanston (21-2-1) will face Barrington at 5 pm Friday at North Central College in Naperville as the Fillies eliminated St. Charles East 3-0 at their own supersectional.
After managing to contain Evanston sophomore standout Jocelyn Leigh for the entire contest, Leigh took a pass from Brealyn Viamille early in the second overtime. Leigh dribbled in on Libertyville sophomore goalkeeper Kate Hopma and scored from close range to finally break up the scoreless shutout with 8:17 remaining in the double overtime.
Libertyville’s Jenna Krakowski did put a long shot on goal less than two minutes later. But Evanston goalkeeper Ariel Kite was able to make the save to preserve the 1-0 lead.
Then Evanston’s offense found Leigh open again on the right wing, and this time Leigh’s shot found the left corner of the net for a 2-0 lead with 1:28 left in the second overtime.
“That’s a long game when your legs are fatigued, and the emotions were big,” said Evanston coach Stacy Salgado. “Getting two goals in the second overtime was amazing and Libertyville definitely has some speed on the flanks.”
The Wildkits almost scored 7:31 into the first half when Nahla Dominguez stole a pass from Hopma and hit the crossbar with a long shot attempt from the left wing.
Then with 13:35 to go in the first half, Libertyville’s Erin Kelly collided with Hopma which led to Evanston retrieving the loose ball and scoring for an apparent 1-0 lead. But the referee had already blown the play dead due to the collision and injury to Kelly so the goal was disallowed.
“Both teams had opportunities. We put everything out there, and Evanston is a good team,” said Libertyville coach Daniel De Paz. “Their forwards up top are dangerous, I’m really proud of what we did and how hard we worked. “
The Wildcats held the upper hand as far as scoring chances in the early stages of the second half as Kite turned away shots on goal by Dakota Lyons and Sydney Dulak to keep the score 0-0.
Hopma made a big save on Leigh and a 1-on-1 save against Viamille as Evanston kept the heat on the Libertyville defense late in regulation play.
Libertyville’s Paige Gleason had two shots on goal in the first overtime, including one from close range. But Kite was able to preserve her shutout without much drama the rest of the way.
“It was a tough loss, but I’m really proud of how we played, and we left it all out on the field I think,” said Hopma, who is going to miss her graduating senior teammates. “The one thing I knew coming into this game I was playing for my seniors and it will be different next year without them.”