Girls soccer: All-too-familiar result for Downers Grove South
The game was played at a different site, but the opponent and outcome were the same as it was a year ago for Downers Grove South.
The Mustangs fell behind just three minutes into the action of Tuesday's Class 3A Glenbard East sectional semifinal and never recovered, losing 3-0 to Lyons Township for the second consecutive year.
"Last year they scored all their goals on set pieces and tonight they got two on us right away and we kind of shot ourselves in the foot," Mustangs coach Chris Hernandez said. "We had a way to handle Eileen Murphy and other dangerous players for set pieces, but we just didn't execute it."
Lyons (16-2-1), which also ended Downers Grove South's season in 2014 and 2015, punished the Mustangs just 2:55 into the action off a corner kick.
Murphy went up for the ball and headed it across to Georgia Dougherty, who redirected it for a 1-0 lead.
Dougherty put the Mustangs in a 2-0 hole when she took advantage of a ball that wasn't cleared and connected with 29:16 still remaining in the opening half.
"Georgia picked a good time to play her best game of the season," Lyons coach Bill Lanspeary said. "She's been playing well, but that was a big game."
Downers Grove South (12-8-1) was quickly behind 2-0 and hadn't created any scoring chances itself.
"You make one mistake against a quality team with quality players and they're going to punish you," Hernandez said. "The momentum kind of went out and our kids kind of put their heads down and unfortunately it took us a while, the first 30 minutes of the half, to calm down."
Even after calming down the Mustangs couldn't muster anything offensively, despite juniors Jordan Rose and Maddie Raftery having sparked their attack all spring.
"They were dangerous up top," Lanspeary said. "I'd seen them play and they move really well and move the ball and create things so our defense did a heck of a job."
During the few times that the Mustangs appeared to have something brewing, Lyons stomped on it.
"Their back line was so organized that as soon as we were on the ball they were closing us down," Hernandez said. "Whoever had it, the back line, midfield or forwards, they were up for it."
Despite the sting of the season ending, the future looks good for the Mustangs.
"We started five seniors, which is a big adjustment from what we had previously," Hernandez said. "Looking at the youth that we have, we had three sophomores that started today and quite a few juniors so the future looks bright."