Girls Soccer: Lemont scores early, often to top Hinsdale South

The goals struck like thunder and lightning not once, but twice.

And that meteorological analogy was more than enough for the Lemont girls soccer team Tuesday in a Class 2A Nazareth Sectional semifinal versus Hinsdale South.

Lemont won 6-1, getting goals in the 14th, 15th and 16th minutes from sophomore midfielder Ella Simpson, freshman forward Bella DeMaio and senior forward Suzy Knutte, respectively. And for good measure, junior forward Emma Amberg connected in the 25th minute, essentially sealing the win.

Think about it - a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior all playing the role of offensive threats. That should make for an entertaining sectional final at 5 p.m. Friday at Nazareth. Benet won the early game 2-0 over Kaneland, and Lemont's win set up the sectional final rematch from a year ago, a game Benet won 4-1.

So what was working early on for Lemont (17-5-1)?

"Just fast from the beginning, always," Knutte said. "From our kickoffs, we always line up on our side so we can get momentum going forward."

Amberg added, "We packed one side in the beginning and get all our numbers up. We have more chances to finish right away."

Simpson and DeMaio had already scored by the 16th minute, when Knutte got in on the fun with a shot from about 25 yards out that settled into the left corner of the net.

That made the score 3-0, but Lemont wasn't done. Amberg corralled the ball in a scrum in the front of the net in the 25th minute and tapped it in, giving her team an insurmountable advantage.

That made the second half academic, though Hinsdale South (14-7) managed a tally in the 39th minute on a 40-yard kick by sophomore Audrey Atkinson.

"Audrey is an all-sectional player for a reason," Hornets coach Jen Belmonte said. "She's a stud."

And how. Atkinson broke the school record for goals in a season with 36, besting the prior record of 31.

That gave Lemont a 4-1 lead heading into the half. Any nerves for Lemont?

"I think it kind of set in, 'Oh, we're not done yet, we need to keep the mentality going,' " DeMaio said.

"I think we weren't as nervous coming off after that goal, I think it was more of frustration that we let that goal in," Knutte said.

And now the Benet Redwings wait in the wings for last year's rematch.

"I think we were in the same spot as we were last year, against Benet, and they are a very physical team," Simpson said. "I think that's going to be our biggest a challenge. I also think they have a lot of good players.

"It will be a good game to see where we stand."

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