Girls soccer: Outcome favors Libertyville in classic matchup
Libertyville and Stevenson is always a rivalry in girls soccer. And when those same teams face each other in the postseason, it's a guaranteed instant classic.
Jada Higgins provided the most drama in this one, scoring in the second overtime to give third-seeded Libertyville a 3-2 victory over No. 2 Stevenson in the Class 3A Libertyville sectional semifinal in Libertyville on Tuesday night.
Higgins scored the game-winner in the 94th minute on a header to finish a cross from Lauren Huber.
"It was adrenaline," said Higgins, who scored her third goal of the season, and the first on a header. "Everybody was so charged up -- it was going to happen. It was a matter of when it was going to happen. Everybody was working so hard at that moment, it had to happen. Someone was going to put it in."
Libertyville (13-6) had been down a goal but tied the game up in the 73rd minute with a goal from Huber, assisted by Higgins.
The Wildcats pulled ahead in the first of two 10-minute overtimes. Morgan Verbeten found the back of the net in the 81st minute for a 2-1 lead.
But the Patriots (11-7-3) evened it back up at 2-2 on a goal from Gracie Wingfield in the 88th minute.
"Stevenson and Libertyville is always a battle, and it has been for years," Libertyville coach Shannon Etnyre said. "(Stevenson) got us early in the season. I have so much respect for them.
"The girls were up for the game and (Stevenson) was up for the game, and it was a battle. Either team could've taken it tonight. I'm happy -- we've never come from behind before this season. We usually crumble and fade, but they found a way to extend the game for us. This is a very solid victory. But we have to find a way to recover for our next game."
Libertyville next faces Carmel (15-4-1) in the sectional final at 5 p.m. Friday at Libertyville.
Stevenson had its moments, too, in a tense test to the finish.
"It's what it's supposed to be in the playoffs -- a battle," Pats coach PepeJon Chavez said. "Two teams step out that are in a fight to advance, and nothing to lose other then you have seniors on the field and it's their last moment, one side against another."