Glenbard South junior Sarah Ziegler might not score as many goals as some of her teammates, but she sure does know when to score them.
The Raiders midfielder found the back of the net with 1:56 left in the second overtime of Saturday's Class 2A regional championship game, and it proved to be the game-winner in a 2-1 defeat of host Riverside-Brookfield. The victory gives Glenbard South four straight regional crowns as the third-seeded Raiders advance to the St. Francis sectional semifinals to take on No. 2 Hinsdale South on Tuesday.
Ziegler's score came less than four minutes after the Raiders thought Sadie Moore had broken the tie, but their celebration was short-lived after the officials called offsides on the play.
"It was just really frustrating because we were all so hyped up and we wanted it really bad," Ziegler said of the Raiders' disallowed goal. "We thought we had it and then they take it away. So we wanted it twice as hard then. After that the other team is happy you didn't get it, but you really want to get it then."
So when the ball bounced Ziegler's way on the right wing, she knew she had to finish the opportunity. Defender Stephanie Brennan had sent a long ball to the left corner where Michaela Miglio controlled the ball and sent a cross in front of the net for Julia Rausch. In traffic Rausch had the ball skip away from her and right to Ziegler.
"I think it ricocheted off (Rausch) and I saw it bounce in front of me," said Ziegler, who recently tied a game with a goal in the final minutes. "I was like, take your time, you need to get this in. I hit it and I saw it go in and I was so excited."
The regional title is the fourth straight for Miglio and Hailey Hawkins, fourth-year varsity players for Glenbard South (13-6-2), which also beat the Bulldogs 2-1 in the regular season this spring. Miglio opened the game's scoring by converting a penalty kick with 13:10 left in the first half.
"Me and my friend Haley have been on the team since freshman year, so this is our fourth time winning regional," said Miglio, who beat Bulldogs goalkeeper Karli Rivera with a low shot to the left side of the goal after R-B was called for a hand ball in the box. "It was the hardest that we ever had to fight for one. But it's sweet either way."
R-B (6-9) drew even at 1-1 on a 26-yard free kick by Lia Sanchez with 6:57 left in the first half, but the Raiders defense did not allow another goal as goalkeeper Jackie Wescott stopped 6 of 7 shots on goal and the defense in front of her prevented her from having to make many difficult stops.
"We had some opportunities that we missed, but rather than give up the girls just kept looking for more opportunities and more opportunities," Raiders coach Glen Eggert said. "It was a collective decision to work past their body a little bit and it paid off in a regional championship for them."
Ziegler and Glenbard South are hoping for another big effort Tuesday.
"This was really exciting for me. A lot of other girls they score a lot of goals, so it's exciting for me to get the ones that matter," she said. "Hinsdale South is a bigger school that's always good in sports, but I'm hoping we can just go in there strong and be strong form the start."