Naperville Central freshman Amanda Murphy was worried about receiving a yellow card during Friday's Naperville Invitational semifinal against Barrington in Naperville.
Thoughts of that yellow card simply faded away after she scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory to send the Redhawks into Saturday's noon championship against Naperville North.
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"I'm really excited. This was a really good win," Murphy said. "We felt the pressure was getting on us, especially in the second half, and we knew that one score could probably be enough to win."
It proved to be enough as Murphy found the net in the 65th minute on a perfectly lofted pass from Veronica Ellis.
"I got a big kick over the top and it ended up being on goal," Murphy said. "The goalie kind of touched it, but not enough. I was right there to finish it."
With scoring opportunities at a premium, Murphy realized she couldn't afford to miss the chance.
"When you get those chances in the box like that, you really have to step up your game." Murphy said. "I saw that one chance and knew I had to finish."
Barrington nearly forced the game into overtime in the game's final minute. The Fillies had a shot carom off the far post before getting rebounded in, but the team was whistled for a foul with just 20 seconds remaining.
"It's a great play, but they were pushing like crazy," Naperville Central coach Ed Watson said. "They made the official call the foul."
The teams battled through a scoreless first half. The Redhawks continued their stingy ways in the second half, especially in denying Barrington standout Molly Pfeiffer.
"I haven't seen a girl (Pfeiffer) post up like that so well in a long time," Watson said. "I was really impressed with our girls being able to deny them anything."
The shutout was the 10th of the season for Naperville Central.