All season long, Rosary's girls soccer team had won -- and lost -- as a team, and the Royals' "all for one" mentality served them very well.
So when the season ended on Wednesday in the Class 2A Freeport sectional semifinals, you can bet that Rosary didn't dissolve into a group of individuals.
The Royals left the field after a 3-0 defeat to Prairie Ridge the same way the competed all season -- as one group.
"We didn't end with our best game of the season, but it's a team loss," Rosary coach Kristy Kane said. "Everyone could have maybe played a little better. We lost as a team, and though it still hurts, it makes you feel a little better that one kid didn't have the burden of the loss on her shoulders."
Prairie Ridge's Bri Fenton scored in the first minute of play, and while the Royals (15-4-3) attacked throughout the half, they were unable to generate many chances.
"We held them after they scored," Kane said. "We had more control in the first half though we didn't have any scoring opportunities at all."
At halftime, Kane said players like Lauren Frasca and worked to lift the team's spirits -- only for Prairie Ridge (16-2-1) to double its lead through an Erica Walsh goal in the opening moments of the second half.
Kane said the goal "took the wind out of our sails."
In two seasons as Rosary coach. Kane had achieved great success. A year ago, the Royals won their first sectional match in school history. This year, the team won its fifth straight regional title and also claimed the Suburban Christian Conference title.
"We need to focus on the great season we did have," Kane said. "Especially for this senior group, they have done so much for Rosary soccer."
Kane is among those leaving the program, having not been retained in her teaching position at the school.
"I definitely will miss them," Kane said. "They definitely were very welcoming. Rosary is a school full of great women. I will miss the girls who are going to continue to play for the school next year. I am excited to see how they do. I'm excited for players like Lauren Frasca and Maria Witte, who will step into leadership roles."