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updated: 5/24/2014 8:54 PM

Rosary upsets Kaneland for regional title

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Lauren Frasca's dreams came true in the Class 2A Rosary regional championship Saturday, while for Kaneland the game turned into a movie they had seen before -- with an ending they had no desire to see again.

Frasca, the DePaul University-bound goalkeeper, saved one of the Knights' four penalty kicks, and Maria Witte provided the third and clinching penalty kick in the Royals' 3-1 PK win after the teams had battled through 100 minutes of scoreless soccer.

"To save one PK for the regional championship, you dream about that," Frasca said. "I don't want the season to end. I want the season to go on as long as it can."

It will for Rosary (10-11-2) Tuesday night in the Class 2A Hampshire sectional semifinals against DeKalb.

Kaneland (14-4-2) entered Saturday as the No. 1 seed but for the fifth time in the last six years saw its season come to an end at the hands of the Royals.

"We did a lot of good things this year," Kaneland coach Scott Parillo said. "It stinks we couldn't do it again. Here we are again sitting here watching Rosary walk away the plaque. That's tough."

Elizabeth Kelley opened the penalty kicks by scoring to the low, right side of the goal for Rosary. Kaneland hit its first PK off the left post.

Frasca took Rosary's next PK and missed high, and Madison Jurcenko sent her shot over Frasca's head to tie the penalty kicks at 1-1 through two shooters.

Katherine Thielen knocked her shot in the left side for a 2-1 Rosary lead, and Frasca followed by diving to her right to knock the Knights' third attempt away.

"When I walked up I know I had to save at least one," Frasca said. "I like to wait until they set up so I can set up myself. I got in there and really felt comfortable. I knew she was a right-footed shooter. I saw her line up and to get that touch on it is just unreal."

Neither Rosary or Kaneland could convert on its fourth shots -- Knights keeper Emily Chapman making a save -- before Witte kicked her shot low and right for the game-winning PK.

"Just totally excited," said Witte, a Batavia resident. "It was just practice routine. Kick it low to my right. We work on that every day."

Neither coach was particularly happy to see a regional championship come down to penalty kicks.

"I would rather win it on the field," Rosary coach Brian Frank said. "It's nice to be on the winning side of penalty kicks. I've been on the losing side as well. I know there has to be a winner and a loser. That is a lousy way to lose to play so hard and lose on penalty kicks. I knew in the back of my mind if we went to penalty kicks we had a decent shot but I would rather have won on the field."

"We never want to go to shootouts anyway," Parillo said. "That's the IHSA rules. We have to follow the IHSA rules. They made their shots, we didn't make our shots. We practiced them every day."

Both teams had their chances to win in regulation. One of the best for either team came with 26 minutes to go when Rosary's Quincy Kellett got just a little bit of space to turn and rip a long shot off the crossbar.

Kaneland had 10 shots in the second half to 9 for Rosary after the Knights dominated the first-half shots, 10-2.

"We came out first half really strong," Frasca said. "We may not have had as many shots as they did but in the second half we were so close on so many opportunities. The amount of teamwork and hard work we had was unbelievable."

Kaneland had plenty of opportunities to score including a frantic sequence with about 15 minutes left that ended with a header from point-blank range from Jurcenko saved by Frasca.

Kellett had a couple more chances late in regulation but shot wide including once after Witte stole the ball and found Kellett ahead.

In the overtimes the Knights had more attempts including a pair from Heather Ortiz that Frasca saved, and Frasca also came out to punch away a dangerous cross from Courtney Diddell late in the second overtime that was the last good chance for either team.

"I've got to give them (Rosary) props," Parillo said. "They played well. They thwarted us many a time. It's unfortunate for the seniors. Once again snake bit."

Kaneland certainly felt this was the year it would get past Rosary in the postseason after 2-0 and 3-0 wins over the Royals in the regular season.

"We had to make some changes, some adjustments," Frank said. "I thought the match for the most part was pretty even back and forth. Both teams had opportunities, had possession. Far different than when we played them before, Kaneland had most of the possession the first two times."

The game was played in pretty tall, thick grass, slowing down both teams at times.

"They were supposed to mow it yesterday," Frank said. "I don't know why they didn't. It wasn't we did it on purpose. It happened to be that way. Did it give us an advantage? I don't know. Same grass they played on. I don't think it was an advantage or disadvantage for either team."

"I'm definitely not a fan of this place," Parillo said. "Look at this field. But both teams have to play on it. Unfortunately we came up short again. I don't know how it happened. The girls played tough. Sometimes your best isn't good enough. It's just getting pretty tiresome that your best isn't good enough when we are here and playing Rosary."

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