As Benet girls soccer coach Bob Gros prepared to leave Hinsdale Central's Dickinson Field after Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the host Red Devils in the first of two Class 3A sectional semifinals, he spoke of three things.
He was proud of the Redwings' season, he thought the team played well for most of the game. The third and final item though was crucial to top-seeded Hinsdale Central moving on to Friday's sectional final.
Fourth-seeded Benet would love to have the 7:22 of the second half back in which Hinsdale Central (15-3-3) did all of its scoring starting with the first of two goals by Casey May.
Gros said the depth of both teams started playing a factor in the second half as Benet has been dealing with injuries.
"We were getting a little on the tired side and we were doing some ball watching. I saw that in the second half. But then we picked it up again," he said. "But we're not as deep as other teams."
Benet (17-5-1) held the Red Devils to just 2 shots on goal in the first half and did an excellent job of breaking up Hinsdale Central rushes at the defense.
Redwings goalkeeper Emma Hlavin stopped the Red Devils' best scoring chance of the first 40 minutes when Hinsdale Central's Alison Cerny made a cross to Meghan Schick. Hlavin came out immediately to intercept the pass as Schick descended upon her.
Things were different in the second half as the Red Devils struck 4:47 in when Jenn Jarmy connected on a cross to Madeline Engelking. Engelking's shot ended up as an unintentional pass to Casey May, who deposited the ball for a 1-0 lead.
Cerny struck 1:37 later and with 27:51 left in the game, May scored her second goal from 20 yards out.
Benet's best scoring chance of the second half came with 14:32 left in the game when Meaghan O'Hara sprinted along the right wing as Red Devils' goalkeeper Riley Glenn came out to meet the 15-yard shot.
The two teams had recently done battle May 9 with Hinsdale Central winning 4-0 in the regular-season finale for both squads.
"This was definitely a more competitive game than when we met them a couple of weeks ago," May said.
Benet's season included winning its second straight regional title after a five-year drought and the 2014 season looks bright.
"It was a tremendous season. Am I disappointed we lost? Yes. Would I like to have that 10 minutes of the second half back? Yes. But it was a tremendous season," Gros said. "I'm very proud of the girls. They fought hard and won a lot of close games. And we get most of the team back next year."