Tuesday night's 0-0 tie between Glenbard South and host Glenbard West had the 80-minute intensity both teams wanted with the postseason just days away.
Both squads, though, would have loved to have converted on some of the many scoring chances each one had.
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"If we had had more composure on handling some of the chances, we could have converted a couple. But it was not to be," said Hilltoppers coach Maciej Kusmierz, whose team ends the regular season at 9-4-3. Glenbard West is seeded fifth in the Class 3A Schaumburg sectional and opens postseason play next week in a Glenbard East regional semifinal against 12th-seeded Wheaton North.
Adding to each team's frustration at not being able to score was each hitting a goal post with a shot during the second half.
The Raiders' best scoring chance of the second half was the shot by Van Lian, on a feed from Jonathan Gutierrez, that hit the top of the right goal post with 14:23 left in the contest.
The Hilltoppers led in shots on goal for the game 9-4 and two of those nine shots would leave the Hilltoppers shaking their heads as to how they didn't hit the back of the net.
Both were taken by William Lanzillo. His first one, coming with 17:12 left until halftime, was a 30-yard boot that looked like a sure goal as it sailed toward a few inches of open space just below the crossbar. However, Glenbard South goalkeeper Keaton Tenhouse leapt into the air and deflected it over the net at the last moment for one of his 9 saves.
The almost exact same play happened with 11:43 left in the game. This time it was a 10-yard shot by Lanzillo and it sailed to almost the exact same location and Tenhouse leapt to close the gap and send it over the net again.
Kusmierz said the key for Glenbard West in the postseason is to keep the team's recent level of play going.
"We need to stay disciplined just like we've been the last few weeks. We need to approach the postseason like we have been every game the past few weeks," he said.
Junior goalkeeper Robert White started the first half for the Hilltoppers and finished with 3 saves. Alex Ruckstaetter, a sophomore, took over the last 40 minutes and made one save.
The Raiders (8-9-1) get one more playoff tuneup Thursday at St. Francis before entering Class 2A competition by hosting their own regional where they are seeded third. Glenbard South opens with second-seeded Fenton.
Glenbard South coach Melissa Pero said her team is ready for the playoffs.
"I believe so. We have a couple of kinks to work out and we'll spend the next few days doing that," she said.
As for the team's performance against the quick Hilltoppers, Pero liked what she saw.
"We have a lot of speed, but three of our quickest starters were out due to illness. But we held our own considering we have such a deep bench. I liked how we went up against a 3A team," she said.