Girls soccer: Kempf's OT goal lifts Vernon Hills

 
By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/21/2019 10:39 PM

Fifth-seeded Vernon Hills went the distance for the second straight postseason game.

Behind the leg of Abby Kempf, the Cougars got past No. 2 Lake Forest 1-0 in 2 overtimes in semifinal action of the Class 2A Antioch sectional.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

After a corner kick, Kempf collected a loose ball and placed it in the back of the net in the 95th minute. It was only her second goal of the season.

"We worked hard for that corner (kick) and Marley Reback hit a great ball," Kempf said. "There was a big scramble in front of the goal, and I was lucky enough to get a touch on it. It was a complete swarm of people, and I was trying to get any body part on it. I think it was my shin or my foot to get it."

Vernon Hills (9-7-5), which advances to Friday's 5 p.m. final against top-seeded Wauconda, played the match without key starters Alex Ludolph and Julia Neary. Both had to sit out because of injuries in the regional final victory over St. Viator.

"It was a well-fought contested game," Vernon Hills coach Mike McCaulou said. "Lake Forest was a No. 2 seed for a reason. We've trained for games like this, and this is the second overtime game for us. With our players out with injuries, it's just another opportunity for other players off the bench to step up. Those two players are not replaceable. We just tried to do a great job to fill the void. Everyone on the bench can do that collectively. We're not sure if they can come back yet. It's day to day and hopefully we can have them for us."

Lake Forest finished 11-8-2.

"Both teams had some chances, but in the end (Vernon Hills) got one to go in beat us," Lake Forest coach Ty Stuckslager said. "I knew it might end that way. I thought we played the last two overtimes well. We just couldn't get anything going. Their defense did a great job and they put us under pressure at times."

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