Benet had the right mindset going into Friday's Class 3A Downers Grove South girls soccer sectional final against Lyons Twp.
"We were optimistic coming into it," said senior co-captain Emily Curtis. "I think we were pretty confident because we were a 3 seed who had just beaten a 2 seed (Hinsdale Central) in the tournament, so that gave us some confidence. We were coming off a great season as co-conference champions (in the East Suburban Catholic). So we were optimistic and we were just trying to keep the wins coming."
But Lyons Twp. played like the top seed it is, working for a 3-0 victory against the Redwings (18-3-2).
"They played very, very well," Benet coach Bob Gros said of the Lions. "They shut down (Benet leading scorer Michelle) Morefield. They played her tough. They were physical, they were bigger, stronger. But I thought in the run of play that we actually did generate some decent opportunities. ... It didn't quite click for us today."
It took nearly 29 minutes before it clicked for the Lions. Erin Fitzgerald's 28-yard free kick cleared a four-Redwing wall and went inside the near post for a 1-0 lead.
Meanwhile, the Redwings were having trouble building a consistent attack against Lyons Twp.
"We were having some trouble holding the ball in the middle occasionally," Curtis said. "That was a little rough."
The Lions made it 2-0 in the 65th when Bridget Kirby collected a loose ball in the Benet penalty area and scored. Gabby Hart added an insurance goal in the 79th.
"Our two center backs, who are awesome players, they made a communication mistake and took each other out of the play," Gros said. "That's a bad mistake defensively. The kid just put it in. That last one we were throwing people up. That's a throwaway goal."
"They were definitely the No. 1 seed for a reason," Curtis said. "We had watched a little bit of their (semifinal) and we knew that they were going to be strong and they were going to be aggressive and they were especially going to look for crosses into the box and so we tried to prepare for that."